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Kaspersky Lab was not asked by Apple to advise on OS X security [u]

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
In the wake of the biggest malware presence in Mac history, Kaspersky Lab claimed it was asked by Apple to consult on potential OS X security issues, but later said the company's CTO was misquoted [updated].

Kaspersky has begun analyzing the OS X platform at Apple's request, the company's chief technology officer, Nikolai Grebennikov, originally said in an interview with Computing. The Kaspersky executive has publicly called Apple out for not taking security seriously enough.

"Mac OS is really vulnerable, and Apple recently invited us to improve its security," Grebennikov said. We've begun an analysis of its vulnerabilities, and the malware targeting it."

Update: But in a later comment provided to Engadget, Kaspersky Lab said the quote from Grebennikov was "taken out of context by the magazine." It has asked that the original article be updated to reflect this.

"Apple did not invite or solicit Kaspersky Lab's assistance in analyzing the Mac OS X platform," the statement reads, going on to say that the analysis of OS X was "conducted independently of Apple."

In the original article, Grebennikov highlighted one specific security issue with OS X, in which Apple blocked Oracle from directly updating Java on the Mac. Instead, Apple handles the updates, and they typically arrive months after Oracle issues its own patches.

Mac-centric Java development is set to move to Oracle following the latest runtime updates built in-house at Apple. Apple dropped Java from the default installation of OS X 10.7 Lion after the company announced its plans to deprecate the software's release from the Mac platform.

In April, Oracle released its first Java Development Kit and JavaFX Software Development Kit for Mac users. They arrived one and a half years after Apple announced the depreciation of its own edition of Java for Mac.

Kaspersky


Kaspersky's newfound partnership with Apple comes on the heels of the Flashback malware botnet, which was believed to have infected hundreds of thousands of Macs at its peak. The presence of Flashback was greatly diminished after Apple released a series of software updates to squash the malware, including a Java update and a separate removal tool.

Grebennikov cited the Flashback malware as "a huge sign that Apple's security model isn't perfect." He also predicted that the first malware targeting Apple's iOS mobile operating system, which powers the iPhone and iPad, will arrive in the next "year or so."
post #2 of 42
I always have a suspicious feeling that there AV companies themselves plant viruses to help their cause!

again I know apple will grow bigger into the consumer and business market and will become MORE of a target... but again I have my suspicions.

I switched to mac back in 05 and never looked back - so its been a great 7 years of NO AV software and i want it to continue this way.

can't even trust these AV companions anyway thanks to Norton and Sonys root kit if memory serves me correctly.

Edited by holmstockd - 5/14/12 at 9:22am
post #3 of 42
Wait a minute. Kaspersky first says that Mac OS X is vulnerable and then they just STARTED analyzing the OS for vulnerabilities, Heck, if I were them, I should have had a number of valid ways to substantiate their initial statement. I remember the media mentioned that Kaspersky's tool didn't fix the Flashback problem, so what makes these guys the best at identifying problems and how to fix them? I would hire those that were successful in compromising the system that were actually going to prove that a problem exists.
post #4 of 42

Kaspersky Exec to Apple: We'd like to offer you our consulting services to provide security vulnerability analysis of OS X.

 

Apple PR to Kaspersky: We aren't soliciting for consulting services at this time but we're happy to accept advice from all recognized security professionals.

 

Kaspersky to Tech Media Pundit: Apple asked us to advise them

post #5 of 42
They say, they say, they say.

Of course they have no reason to lie about this partnership, the threat etc? Or even just the fact that Flasback was caused by a faulty version of Java , not an actual Mac OS flaw

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post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Kaspersky Exec to Apple: We'd like to offer you our consulting services to provide security vulnerability analysis of OS X.

Apple PR to Kaspersky: We aren't soliciting for consulting services at this time but we're happy to accept advice from all recognized security professionals.

Kaspersky to Tech Media Pundit: Apple asked us to advise them

More likely:

Apple execs in conference: "We're getting really tired of these 'security experts' coming up with bogus threats and then attempting to make us look bad. If we give them a contract, do you think they might stop?"

The entire Flashback fiasco is pretty strong evidence that these people are making things up. The alleged number of infected computers dropped by 2/3 a few days BEFORE Apple released the fix.
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post #7 of 42

at least its kaspersky and not symantec...

post #8 of 42

"You're not safe. So buy our software so you will be safe. But you still won't be safe. So buy our software every year."

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #9 of 42

Pretty much the the biggest security vulnerability on OS X is user error.

 

None of the usual suspects, Flash, Java, or Javascript, running in a browser, can write or read files on the client's hard drive, that is, without the user giving permission. Provided that Java, and Flash have been updated, but you never know when the next exploit will surface, since we are up to version 10 or 11 and there always seems to be one more loophole that they overlooked.

 

As they say: Any computer connected to the Internet is vulnerable.

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post #10 of 42

Kaspersky has a nice little "protection" business going on... "Now, youse don't want no trouble now, would you? It's be a shame if youse was to have a fire or somethin'."

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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #11 of 42

Mac security brought to you by the Russian Mafia.

post #12 of 42

That's like asking the cigarette companies if smoking is good for you.

post #13 of 42

Too bad for M. Kaspersky none of his software will be running on Mac once Apple will deploy his new Gatekeeper with Snow Lion.  Beside this news is boggus, if Apple was really desperated to seek security advise, they will start by searching on their own homeland first before going to the land of piracy and computer far west.

 

The Java issue is totally fallacious, Apple has never block Oracle update. The true is Oracle never release an OS X version of Java because Apple was maintaining Java.  Now Apple is giving back all the trouble of maintain Java to his owner. Kaspersky need to do way better to gain credibility. 

 

On all OS (Windows, OSX, Linux) security issue rely much more on their runtime API than its core, more you use runtime API like Java, Flash an other, more the OS is at risk to be hijack by a wise developer. The best solution from a users perspective is to avoid to all cost those third-party runtime, those are mean to be developer's shortcuts and produce bad quality apps. 


Edited by BigMac2 - 5/14/12 at 10:53am
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Kaspersky Exec to Apple: We'd like to offer you our consulting services to provide security vulnerability analysis of OS X.

 

Apple PR to Kaspersky: We aren't soliciting for consulting services at this time but we're happy to accept advice from all recognized security professionals.

 

Kaspersky to Tech Media Pundit: Apple asked us to advise them

 

And this just in...that's pretty much exactly what happened.  Kaspersky just had to walk back the whole working with Apple thing.

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In the wake of the biggest malware presence in Mac history, Kaspersky Lab claimed it was asked by Apple to consult on potential OS X security issues, but later said the company's CTO was misquoted [updated].

Grebennikov cited the Flashback malware as "a huge sign that Apple's security model isn't perfect." He also predicted that the first malware targeting Apple's iOS mobile operating system, which powers the iPhone and iPad, will arrive in the next "year or so."

In other words, "we haven't finished writing the malware yet..but it's looking good for next year on iOS."
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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by holmstockd View Post



I always have a suspicious feeling that there AV companies themselves plant viruses to help their cause!


again I know apple will grow bigger into the consumer and business market and will become MORE of a target... but again I have my suspicions.


I switched to mac back in 05 and never looked back - so its been a great 7 years of NO AV software and i want it to continue this way.


can't even trust these AV companions anyway thanks to Norton and Sonys root kit if memory serves me correctly.


I don't think you have much to worry about if you watch what you are downloading and the sites you are viewing. However the more popular Apple becomes more and more crackers will focus their energy on the platform. Just be carefull, I have never had a virus on any of my systems, even Windows because I invest in good hardware protection at home and use backups just in case. Though the secret of running a good Windows system is in a virtual enviroment.
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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy View Post

That's like asking the cigarette companies if smoking is good for you.

 

Sorry, but I fail to see the validity of your analogy.

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by holmstockd View Post

I always have a suspicious feeling that there AV companies themselves plant viruses to help their cause!

again I know apple will grow bigger into the consumer and business market and will become MORE of a target... but again I have my suspicions.

I switched to mac back in 05 and never looked back - so its been a great 7 years of NO AV software and i want it to continue this way.

can't even trust these AV companions anyway thanks to Norton and Sonys root kit if memory serves me correctly.

 

 

I absolutely agree with this -- Apple and LINUX have a permissions model that Microsoft has only recently emulated. However -- the dearth of attacks on both *NIX platforms is probably NOT due only to "obscurity" -- it's most probably due to NO ECONOMIC MODEL to create them in the first place.

 

What is an AV company going to recommend but that people "install AV software and update every day."

 

100's of thousands of Macs were infected by a trojan horse? Heavens, with the millions of macs out there, we might be approaching 1% at the current rate. That's compared to 50% of PCs with various OS's on them.

 

Not to be cavalier about the issue -- but it's a Trojan horse -- until Apple and the rest of these companies create systemic software that LOOKS AT WHAT APPS ARE TRYING TO DO -- rather than this weak-kneed "virus signature" nonsense -- nobody has real security.

 

 

>> That's the thing -- it would have been fairly EASY for someone creating a Virus to make it "change it's signature." The operating code can stay the same, but it can seed itself with random data and use compression on the file itself with ONLY the need to find some process to hijack to decompress itself -- randomizing even the process call used. Such Poly-morphic Viruses would DEFEAT all dedicated AV software that scans for "patterns".

 

The ONLY explanation I can find that we haven't seen Polymorphic Viruses is because it doesn't make money -- and it doesn't make money because the independent "developers" who happen to get money from AV companies by "finding viruses" are likely the same people creating the viruses. Other than a few groups out there who want to use Zombie and DNS attacks to either shut someone down or steal information -- the vast majority of these viruses are just nuisances.

 

Sure, back when it was a Visual Basic script in the email -- it was script kiddies -- but now, it likely takes a bit more dedication than a hobbyist.

 

 

>> The WORST THING APPLE CAN DO, is to create a 3rd-party economic incentive to sell AV software. I've been saying this for 10 years -- and I know that as soon as they make it institutionalized, Viruses will be a way of life.

 

Just like Homeland Security needs terrorists and the FBI is going to help find them, if they have to train a meth addict and get him the wardrobe -- dang it, they'll find them some terrorists.

post #19 of 42

Is it me or is it trendier than ever to claim fake dalliances with Apple?

post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
Sorry, but I fail to see the validity of your analogy.

 

Really? You don't think a company that sells anti-malware software, a company that is completely useless to Mac users, might just have a conflict of interests in doing the reporting on malware on the Mac?

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

Sorry, but I fail to see the validity of your analogy.

 

 

The analogy is that a Cigarette company SELLS cigarette's, and they will FIND that the Cigs are healthy and part of a full balanced diet.

 

An independent agency that had no future profits from Cigarettes, would of course recommend smoking Pot -- as it's good for arthritis, cancer and nobody has yet witnessed someone dying from natural cannibus -- we've seen people dead from Sugar for crying out loud -- but not pot.

 

So a security expert who wasn't steeped in the religion and making a buck off the future of viruses, will tell you that having an independent company create Anti Virus software will guarantee you will ALWAYS have to deal with viruses.

 

It's much better to have both an INSTALL PERMISSION, like the current model -- and something that looks at new applications and sand-boxes them, alerting the user to any un-authorized activity or "phoning out". A graphics application for instance, wanting to scan preference files or modify your email would be "running against pattern."

 

Apple is also using the App store to create a market for CERTIFIED software -- which will require future hackers to first infiltrate and piggy back on a developer's submission.

 

>> Anyway, 3rd party for profit AV companies are the WORST WAY YET CONCEIVED to make a platform secure. Some security companies are probably doing something useful, because there are issues -- but Capitalism always allows the unethical to benefit if the economic model doesn't penalize cheaters.

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Really? You don't think a company that sells anti-malware software, a company that is completely useless to Mac users, might just have a conflict of interests in doing the reporting on malware on the Mac?

 

 

It's like Homeland Security closing their own doors after we found Bin Laden ... or the last person who hates America on the planet.

 

A permanent parasite creating a need for itself.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Really? You don't think a company that sells anti-malware software, a company that is completely useless to Mac users, might just have a conflict of interests in doing the reporting on malware on the Mac?

 

I agree that Kapersky is conflicted but that does does not mean the analogy is valid.

 

Tobacco companies sell cigarettes.

 

What does Kaspersky sell that is equivalent to cigarettes?

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

 

 

The analogy is that a Cigarette company SELLS cigarette's, and they will FIND that the Cigs are healthy and part of a full balanced diet.

 

An independent agency that had no future profits from Cigarettes, would of course recommend smoking Pot -- as it's good for arthritis, cancer and nobody has yet witnessed someone dying from natural cannibus -- we've seen people dead from Sugar for crying out loud -- but not pot.

 

So a security expert who wasn't steeped in the religion and making a buck off the future of viruses, will tell you that having an independent company create Anti Virus software will guarantee you will ALWAYS have to deal with viruses.

 

It's much better to have both an INSTALL PERMISSION, like the current model -- and something that looks at new applications and sand-boxes them, alerting the user to any un-authorized activity or "phoning out". A graphics application for instance, wanting to scan preference files or modify your email would be "running against pattern."

 

Apple is also using the App store to create a market for CERTIFIED software -- which will require future hackers to first infiltrate and piggy back on a developer's submission.

 

>> Anyway, 3rd party for profit AV companies are the WORST WAY YET CONCEIVED to make a platform secure. Some security companies are probably doing something useful, because there are issues -- but Capitalism always allows the unethical to benefit if the economic model doesn't penalize cheaters.

 

No offense but you have not made a case at all to validate the invalid analogy. In fact, you have done a good job of describing how a tobacco company is not the same as what Kaspersky is about. This does not make Kaspersky a hero in this scenario. It just means a bad analogy was applied to a situation that should be easy enough to mock.

 

 

A better analogy would be one that compares Kaspersky to a vaccine maker insisting that a particular strain of flu has become an epidemic.


Edited by ankleskater - 5/14/12 at 1:29pm
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
What does Kapersky sell that is equivalent to cigarettes?

 

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #26 of 42
Quote:
RELIC said: I don't think you have much to worry about if you watch what you are downloading and the sites you are viewing. However the more popular Apple becomes more and more crackers will focus their energy on the platform. Just be carefull, I have never had a virus on any of my systems, even Windows because I invest in good hardware protection at home and use backups just in case. Though the secret of running a good Windows system is in a virtual enviroment.

 

 

 

agreed i as well, but in my profession i seen some QUESTIONABLE issues with certain type of convent viruses and the AV companies with the super quick remedy!

post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Apple will deploy his new Gatekeeper with Snow Lion.

I'm really looking forward to Snow Lion...
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

 

 

I absolutely agree with this -- Apple and LINUX have a permissions model that Microsoft has only recently emulated. However -- the dearth of attacks on both *NIX platforms is probably NOT due only to "obscurity" -- it's most probably due to NO ECONOMIC MODEL to create them in the first place.

 

What is an AV company going to recommend but that people "install AV software and update every day."

 

100's of thousands of Macs were infected by a trojan horse? Heavens, with the millions of macs out there, we might be approaching 1% at the current rate. That's compared to 50% of PCs with various OS's on them.

 

Not to be cavalier about the issue -- but it's a Trojan horse -- until Apple and the rest of these companies create systemic software that LOOKS AT WHAT APPS ARE TRYING TO DO -- rather than this weak-kneed "virus signature" nonsense -- nobody has real security.

 

 

>> That's the thing -- it would have been fairly EASY for someone creating a Virus to make it "change it's signature." The operating code can stay the same, but it can seed itself with random data and use compression on the file itself with ONLY the need to find some process to hijack to decompress itself -- randomizing even the process call used. Such Poly-morphic Viruses would DEFEAT all dedicated AV software that scans for "patterns".

 

The ONLY explanation I can find that we haven't seen Polymorphic Viruses is because it doesn't make money -- and it doesn't make money because the independent "developers" who happen to get money from AV companies by "finding viruses" are likely the same people creating the viruses. Other than a few groups out there who want to use Zombie and DNS attacks to either shut someone down or steal information -- the vast majority of these viruses are just nuisances.

 

Sure, back when it was a Visual Basic script in the email -- it was script kiddies -- but now, it likely takes a bit more dedication than a hobbyist.

 

 

>> The WORST THING APPLE CAN DO, is to create a 3rd-party economic incentive to sell AV software. I've been saying this for 10 years -- and I know that as soon as they make it institutionalized, Viruses will be a way of life.

 

Just like Homeland Security needs terrorists and the FBI is going to help find them, if they have to train a meth addict and get him the wardrobe -- dang it, they'll find them some terrorists.

YES SIR!

post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


I'm really looking forward to Snow Lion...

AHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA ok thats funny - but yeah we know what GTR meant.

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

I agree that Kapersky is conflicted but that does does not mean the analogy is valid.

 

Tobacco companies sell cigarettes.

 

What does Kaspersky sell that is equivalent to cigarettes?

 

 

It should be REALLY OBVIOUS: You get sold a permanent addiction to Anti Virus software that takes money from your wallet. In the case of Norton Utilities -- it can give your computer an early death as it thrashes the hard drive and heats up components.

 

Also -- it's just a funny analogy. These Security companies sell FEAR, and the Tobacco companies sell COMFORT. Other than the asbestos and vaporized tar - it's almost a tie.

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


I'm really looking forward to Snow Lion...

 

My PREDICTION -- and you can quote me on this; Security Companies will go into MELT DOWN MODE -- they will claim that a GateKeeper will keep Apple "brainwashed" complacent. They will send advisories to large corporations warning them of the security threats posed by NOT having AV software.

 

It will be a last ditch effort to PROVE THAT Apple users NEED THEM -- we REALLY NEED THEM.

 

I've been using Macs since they've had the 9" black and white screen -- and the only time I saw a virus was in a computer lab I ran at college. Maybe I've been REALLY LUCKY.

 

If I'd been running AV software that entire time -- I could then claim that the AV software kept me safe -- but I didn't, so I can at least claim that my "magic underwear" kept me safe from Tigers. I haven't seen one.

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Is it me or is it trendier than ever to claim fake dalliances with Apple?

 

Not nearly as trendy as the fake claim of "I know this Apple user who has nothing but problems..."

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

I agree that Kapersky is conflicted but that does does not mean the analogy is valid.

 

Tobacco companies sell cigarettes.

 

What does Kaspersky sell that is equivalent to cigarettes?

 

They both sell smoke...

 

my 2 cents lol.gif

post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

No offense but you have not made a case at all to validate the invalid analogy. In fact, you have done a good job of describing how a tobacco company is not the same as what Kaspersky is about. This does not make Kaspersky a hero in this scenario. It just means a bad analogy was applied to a situation that should be easy enough to mock.


A better analogy would be one that compares Kaspersky to a vaccine maker insisting that a particular strain of flu has become an epidemic.

Close, but which vaccine maker requires an annual subscription to 'stay safe'? And which vaccine maker exaggerates the extent of the risks?
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post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

What does Kaspersky sell that is equivalent to cigarettes?

 

A product that you don't need and is not necessarily good for you.

post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

These Security companies sell FEAR, and the Tobacco companies sell COMFORT. 

 

No, they both sell comfort.   Security companies may create fear, but they sell comfort. 

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

 

They both sell smoke...

 

my 2 cents lol.gif

lol.gif  lol.gif Good one, well said! After the incident I had with their online tool checking if a machine has the Flashback infection, my trust to them dropped to levels below zero.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Too bad for M. Kaspersky none of his software will be running on Mac once Apple will deploy his new Gatekeeper with Snow Lion.  Beside this news is boggus, if Apple was really desperated to seek security advise, they will start by searching on their own homeland first before going to the land of piracy and computer far west.

 

First off, it's Mountain Lion, not Snow Lion

 

Second, Gatekeeper isn't perfect because the user can override the security settings. You can pick to use only things from the App Store, signed apps or anything. And even things in the App Store won't always been 100% perfect, the iOS app store has shown us that. That a trusted source like Adobe could release Flash with a hole in it shows up that nothing is 100% guaranteed to be perfect and secure. Not to mention that there are folks that don't run updates or vet where they get their software from as well as they should. My next door neighbor for example is still running Windows XP on Service Pack 1. Or was until I told him I wouldn't touch the computer until got it up to speed on the updates. And I know several folks still running Tiger on their Macs. 

 

Third, if Kaspersky was deemed the best company to work with that they are not American wouldn't matter. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

 

My PREDICTION -- and you can quote me on this; Security Companies will go into MELT DOWN MODE -- they will claim that a GateKeeper will keep Apple "brainwashed" complacent. They will send advisories to large corporations warning them of the security threats posed by NOT having AV software.

 

It will be a last ditch effort to PROVE THAT Apple users NEED THEM -- we REALLY NEED THEM.

 

 

Until all the third party companies get their acts together, you do need anti-malware protection. Perhaps software, perhaps just avoidance. I got a new computer with Lion about a month after that OS came out and I still haven't installed Flash, Java Runtime or Office. No shock that when I ran the whole flashback check software it took about half a second to confirm I was clean. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #40 of 42

Everybody should read the latest article on ZDNet titled:

 

Avira Antivirus update cripples millions of Windows PCs

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