Apple pulls support note recommending antivirus software

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple has removed a widely publicized support document from its website that encouraged Mac OS X users to install antivirus software, explaining that its operating system was designed with safeguards to protect against malicious attacks on its own.



The recommendation drew widespread attention given that the Mac maker has been critical in its television advertisements of Windows users' need to stock up on virus detection software while its own computers remain immune to viral threats.



It was later revealed that the document was about a year old and only caught the attention of industry watchers after Apple recently updated it to reflect changes in the version numbering of the antivirus software it was recommending.



"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult," the document said, in part.



Speaking to CNet News.com, Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said the article was removed last night because it was deemed to be "old and inaccurate."



"The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."



TidBITS security editor Rich Mogull speculates that Apple may have never intended to urge Mac users to install antivirus software, and that the support article may have found its way to the company's website without being filtered through the proper channels.



For its part, CNet believes Apple's latest statement "poses more questions than it answers."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:

    For its part, CNet believes Apple's latest statement "poses more questions than it answers."



    Applegate?
  • Reply 2 of 59
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.



    All good ideas.



    PS: On the MM inclusion, I'd first like MM to include the ability to locate my iPhone via GPS from the MM site and the ability to allow for a remote secure wipe of the handset if it should be lost or stolen. But I doubt either of those will ever arrive so I'm not holding my breath.
  • Reply 4 of 59
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.



    Apple is not recommending anything. Apple has removed an old KB page that was recommending installing an anti-virus. This page was several years old.
  • Reply 5 of 59
    And I just bought 3 different anti-virus software packages yesterday and intalled them on my Macs.



    I'm only kidding.



    I've never used, nor do I ever see myself installing anti-virus software on my Macs.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.



    I totally agree. I think Apple has been pretty stupid of late when it comes to money making strategies:



    1) Why is there still no MacBook Air 3G add-on to iPhone subscription plans? (MBA would have its own 3G chip)

    2) How come there is not yet an iTunes 3G Music Store? Apple would get a lot more business.

    3) Come on Apple! Finish updating all your products instead of having some of them hanging out to dry!!! (MobileMe iDisk link emailing, Mac desktop Mini DisplayPort, iPhone compatibility with the new Apple Headsets, 802.11n on iPhone and iPod touch, new Mac mini, Snow Leopard, etc)

    4) Allow people to buy ALL VIDEOS on iTunes in HD!!! Stop limiting it to movie rentals and TV shows!!! I want HD music videos and movies on my Mac!

    5) No mike on iPod touch; also no camera.

    6) They have turned the iPod touch from sophisticated iPod-for-the-gods into cheap little touchscreen device by changing its packaging and its price. Having one used to make one considered elite in many social groups; now, everybody has bought the $230 8GB iPod touch (which, to my annoyance, looks identical to the much higher-priced 32GB model) and therefore it has lost most of its cool factor, IMO. That's why I bought a white iPhone 3G.

    7) No iPhone MMS. They could use this to woo AT&T to allow tethering with the extra income from customers' MMS messages, but, no.



    I am a devoted Apple fanboy, but their recent omissions and oversights have peeved me. You see, whenever Apple makes a big mistake like leaving MMS out of iPhone, the PC people who know me enjoy teasing me about it (of course, there is the double standard that any Microsoft-bashing I do is irrelevant because its products are "not as ridiculously priced as Apple devices"). The worst part of all is that I can see their point.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.



    Apple apparently just left it.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.



    And lord knows they will want to make money from it, but as you say operating system producers should be the one's writing the antivirus software. Their bug, their responsibility. Not to mention the pantheon of issues that 3rd party virus solutions have ALWAYS caused due to incompatibility. If you look at Microsoft , they have finally started taking responsibility and are making an antivirus solution (albeit a poor one). This issue should have always been one the OS guys solved; light weight, not too much crap , current and effective (and free). C'mon Apple live the dream.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    Apple never said to run multiple VS software on your one computer!



    Get a clue folks!



    Krreaagn
  • Reply 10 of 59
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dougelo7 View Post


    I totally agree. I think Apple has been pretty stupid of late when it comes to money making strategies:



    1) Why is there still no MacBook Air 3G add-on to iPhone subscription plans? (MBA would have its own 3G chip)

    2) How come there is not yet an iTunes 3G Music Store? Apple would get a lot more business.

    3) Come on Apple! Finish updating all your products instead of having some of them hanging out to dry!!! (MobileMe iDisk link emailing, Mac desktop Mini DisplayPort, iPhone compatibility with the new Apple Headsets, 802.11n on iPhone and iPod touch, new Mac mini, Snow Leopard, etc)

    4) Allow people to buy ALL VIDEOS on iTunes in HD!!! Stop limiting it to movie rentals and TV shows!!! I want HD music videos and movies on my Mac!

    5) No mike on iPod touch; also no camera.

    6) They have turned the iPod touch from sophisticated iPod-for-the-gods into cheap little touchscreen device by changing its packaging and its price. Having one used to make one considered elite in many social groups; now, everybody has bought the $230 8GB iPod touch (which, to my annoyance, looks identical to the much higher-priced 32GB model) and therefore it has lost most of its cool factor, IMO. That's why I bought a white iPhone 3G.

    7) No iPhone MMS. They could use this to woo AT&T to allow tethering with the extra income from customers' MMS messages, but, no.



    1) This would be nice to have. Since CDMA is so popular in the US, I wonder if having an internal proprietary slot for a 3G card (like they did with the original Airport cards) would be the best solution. And not just for the MBa, but the other notebook's too. My USB card from AT&T is less than ideal to use in both the HW and SW.

    2) I think this has to do with the transfer method. It seems that selling music over that medium isn't the same as selling it over a other broadband.

    3) Things take time. Apple moves faster than anyone else, though they do seem to be spreading themselves thin. I don't mind waiting, but I would like self imposed deadlines to be more accurate.

    4) This is most likely a restriction from the content providers. I can't see strategic reason why Apple wouldn't want to offer high definition movies to their Mac users.

    5) As thin as it is, that seems pretty tough. The iPhone already suffers from a crappy camera due to its thinness. But this also helps up-sell the new headphones and the iPhone. If the Touch does become a dominate handheld gaming device and other handheld gaming devices start offering cameras then we may see it and/or we get some new tech that allows for a camera to be placed in such a thin device then we may see it.

    6) I don't understand this comment. Your problem with the Touch is that it's not elitist enough?

    7) Tethering and MMS are two of the major complaints from day one. Their looks like their will be a 3rd party MMS app shortly and it looks like AT&T will soon be allowing tethering for an additional charge. The former I couldn't care less about, the latter would save me money as I currently have a $60/month AT&T USB card.



    Quote:

    I am a devoted Apple fanboy, but their recent omissions and oversights have peeved me.



    Apple has always worked like this, even when Jobs was exiled. This is nothing new.



    Quote:

    You see, whenever Apple makes a big mistake like leaving MMS out of iPhone, the PC people who know me enjoy teasing me about it (of course, there is the double standard that any Microsoft-bashing I do is irrelevant because its products are "not as ridiculously priced as Apple devices"). The worst part of all is that I can see their point.



    What MS products are so well priced compared to Apple's products? the only things that are comparable are the OS and office suites, which are much cheaper from Apple (though iWork doesn't really compete with MS Office, IMO), and the Zune models are either the same price as its competing iPod or only slightly cheaper. So what MS product are you referring?
  • Reply 11 of 59
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."



    Talk about hedging your bets.



    What Apple is saying is 'we don't think you'll get a virus but if you do don't blame us'.



    As Kolchak says above - why not provide an anti-virus product as part of the MobileMe subscription.



    I suspect that Anti-virus software is more of an issue for PC switchers who have been bombarded with threats over the years. Is not that easy to change your mindset to believe that OSX is totally secure and therefore you don't need that safety net. Personally I don't have a problem with installing anti-virus software on the Mac. It's not exactly a major cost.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    mdcatmdcat Posts: 79member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software.



    I'm sure they'd like to issue security updates faster but it's important to get it right. All too often, we read of security updates on OTHER platforms that cause new problems for some users because they were rushed. Apple, at least, seems to test their updates throughly before releasing them.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    That article was a "Old article", clearly labeled even when Apple had it on their website.



    It got updated with a new numbering system and became visible. This was pointed out by many people on CNET.



    Journalist talk, they don't read.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Hopefully Microshit doesnt get wind of this little fiasco......
  • Reply 15 of 59
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Did the Apple KB article indicate where the anti virus software should be installed? Seems that everyone is assuming that when Apple advocates the use of anti-viral software that they meant to use it on Mac OS - maybe the statement was a recommendation for those with Windows OS in their environment - including boot camp and virtual PCs.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    you do know..someone at Apple got a pretty nasty call from Steve saying...take that down now or you're fired. and dont let it happen again.
  • Reply 17 of 59
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    It was a poorly written article - specifically mentioning anti-virus rather than "system security software" was a big mistake (and yeah, old article, but still).



    The article should have read:



    1) Mac OS X is designed for security, blah blah blah by design, blah difficult to get viruses through traditional means, blah



    2) With Boot Camp and Virtualisation, new vector for viruses/spyware/malware to get installed bypassing Mac OS X



    3) Therefore recommend installing security software in Windows on Macs, and on Mac OS X.



    Fact is, as the marketshare of Macs increases, more and more people will write malware, and there will be holes discovered, and more likely, there will be stupid users who let it get installed.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post


    Here's a nutty idea. Instead of recommending third party software, how about issuing security updates faster? Or if they can't do that, make their own antivirus software. They can even include the antivirus subscription in MobileMe if they want to make money off it.



    Doesn't anyone remember that clamav is already included with OS X Server. All they have to do is add it to the client version and slap a GUI on it (sorry about that ClamXav developer).
  • Reply 19 of 59
    ajmasajmas Posts: 555member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Doesn't anyone remember that clamav is already included with OS X Server. All they have to do is add it to the client version and slap a GUI on it (sorry about that ClamXav developer).



    I took a look at ClamXav and they seriously need someone to give them a hand with an improved GUI. That brushed metal look is so 2005.



    For my part I don't actually have an anti-virus on my Mac, but when you play around with PC networks, having a computer that is immune itself detect PC viruses is not such as bad thing. Think of it like the mosquito: while it Malaria can't cause it issues, it can help spread the disease. If the mosquito was able to detect and eradicate the viruses on board, then it would not be a threat to anything else.
  • Reply 20 of 59
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dougelo7 View Post


    I totally agree. I think Apple has been pretty stupid of late when it comes to money making strategies:



    1) Why is there still no MacBook Air 3G add-on to iPhone subscription plans? (MBA would have its own 3G chip)

    2) How come there is not yet an iTunes 3G Music Store? Apple would get a lot more business.

    3) Come on Apple! Finish updating all your products instead of having some of them hanging out to dry!!! (MobileMe iDisk link emailing, Mac desktop Mini DisplayPort, iPhone compatibility with the new Apple Headsets, 802.11n on iPhone and iPod touch, new Mac mini, Snow Leopard, etc)

    4) Allow people to buy ALL VIDEOS on iTunes in HD!!! Stop limiting it to movie rentals and TV shows!!! I want HD music videos and movies on my Mac!

    5) No mike on iPod touch; also no camera.

    6) They have turned the iPod touch from sophisticated iPod-for-the-gods into cheap little touchscreen device by changing its packaging and its price. Having one used to make one considered elite in many social groups; now, everybody has bought the $230 8GB iPod touch (which, to my annoyance, looks identical to the much higher-priced 32GB model) and therefore it has lost most of its cool factor, IMO. That's why I bought a white iPhone 3G.

    7) No iPhone MMS. They could use this to woo AT&T to allow tethering with the extra income from customers' MMS messages, but, no.



    I am a devoted Apple fanboy, but their recent omissions and oversights have peeved me. You see, whenever Apple makes a big mistake like leaving MMS out of iPhone, the PC people who know me enjoy teasing me about it (of course, there is the double standard that any Microsoft-bashing I do is irrelevant because its products are "not as ridiculously priced as Apple devices"). The worst part of all is that I can see their point.



    Wow, you really hate everything about Apple. Whine Whine Whine.

    1). Stupid idea. Not everyone owns an iPhone. The Air is already a joke at $1,799, why make it even more expensive by adding 3G when it would rarely be used by the majority of owners?

    2) Apple already does a lot of business on iTunes, and wouldn't do anymore if they added 3G support. Considering AT&T's network isn't that great to begin with, you want to slow it down even more with large file downloads? Yeah, that's a good idea.

    3) So you want them to finish every single product all at once? Get a clue.

    4) Apple doesn't decide on what is available in HD. The content providers do. So blame them.

    5) There isn't a mic on any iPod, nor is there a camera either. The iPod Touch is an iPod, not an iPhone! And it is a MIC, not a MIKE!

    6) Boo hoo, the iPod Touch is popular and everyone has one. Same goes for the iPhone. How dare Apple sell their products to everyone else. How dare they lower the price to make it affordable. Now I can't be a spoiled little brat with my iPod/Touch/Phone. WAAAAAAA! By the way, the iPod Touch is still the same quality, it isn't a cheap touchscreen device. Didn't you realize that everyone is buying a white iPhone? Hurry, you better sell yours now.

    7) No MMS. Not really a big deal. The phone does have full email capability. People don't need more charges on the phone plan when an email is free and can send pictures.



    I think your friends are teasing you for more than just the iPhone lacking MMS.
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