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Apple Will Not Confirm or Deny Malware Infection

Macs have a reputation for being safer compared to PCs when it comes to viruses and other malware. Much of that had to do with security by obscurity, as hackers would target the much bigger pool of PCs. With the continued growth and popularity of Macs, though, it may be due time for Apple's system to be under attack.

Ed Bott, a blogger for ZDNet, posted an interview between himself and an unnamed AppleCare worker. The source said that AppleCare call centers are now getting bombarded with calls from customers who have been tricked into installing malware called Mac Defender and Apple Security, among others.

"Before this started happening, we had 7-12 minutes between calls generally. Now we’re lucky to have any time between calls," said the source. "We started getting a trickle of calls a couple weeks ago. However, this last week over 50% of our calls have been about it. In two days last week I personally took 60 calls that referred to Mac Defender."

Something that most Mac owners may not know about is that the AppleCare terms of service state that Apple does not help with malware removal.

"Our notice for Mac Defender is that we’re not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer," the source explained. "The reason for the rule, they say, is that even though Mac Defender is easy to remove, we can’t set the expectation to customers that we will be able to remove all malware in the future. That’s what antivirus is for."

Despite the clear rules, the source said that "most" AppleCare workers still offer help in removing malware simply because the people on the other end of the line are desperate for help.

Bott also obtained an Apple internal bulletin saying that Apple employees must refrain from confirm or deny whether or not a user's Mac has been infected. Apple employees also cannot make specific recommendations on security software, but instead should direct them to the Apple Online Store or the Mac App Store for antivirus.

  • rantoc
    Blasphemy! Green fruit products are immune to everything including stupid users! /end sarcasm!
    Reply
  • lordravage
    It's not the malware itself that bothers me. Yes, people make devious software and it's bad. It's the way Apple tries to handle things by keeping it quiet and avoiding the issue. I wish they would confront it head on, publicly denounce Mac Defender so that people are aware of the malware, and have a plan for removing bad software like any other repair shop. I know Apple would like to only deal with 1st party software, it's much easier and you can train your 'geniuses' in a simple by-the-book fashion. But as macs start getting more market share they'll start getting more 3rd party problems.
    Reply
  • slayer10000
    all i can say is ha ha ha
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Good! Maybe that will end the commmon BS belief that "there're no viruses on Mac".
    Reply
  • DON'T HELP THOSE POOR INFECTED FOOLS, WHO WERE TRICKED INTO BELEVING THEY WERE INVULNERABLE TO VIRUSES BY HAVING MAC, JUST TELL THEM TO BUY MORE OF OUR PRODUCTS.

    Jesus... Apple, you really have NO concern for your consumers outside of taking their money - do you?
    Reply
  • Wow.

    Apple doesn't give a **** about their consumers. Don't help them remove their virus, just keep them in the dark and tell them to buy more products.

    Supporting Apple is supporting this kind of management and control.
    Reply
  • pale paladin
    hmm I think this might start the decline of Apple poopooo. I sure hope so.
    I love my Mac when I'm using my Win 7 VM inside Virtual Box.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    Imperade12Don't help them remove their virusHas Microsoft, Dell or HP ever "officially" helped a customer remove a virus? Do you ask Western Digital or Seagate for help in removing the nasties on the hard drive that they sold you? This is outside of the scope of vendor support. End user tech support is meant to deal with this (you know, Geek Squad). Apple's response to this malware is simply in line with their support policy, which in this case is much the same as any other vendor's policy.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    It's part of the experience... The ignorant experience, lol.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • nekatreven
    randomizerHas Microsoft, Dell or HP ever "officially" helped a customer remove a virus? Do you ask Western Digital or Seagate for help in removing the nasties on the hard drive that they sold you? This is outside of the scope of vendor support. End user tech support is meant to deal with this (you know, Geek Squad). Apple's response to this malware is simply in line with their support policy, which in this case is much the same as any other vendor's policy.
    Read the second half of the article's link to the Apple bulletin, and find out. :)

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/apple-to-support-reps-do-not-attempt-to-remove-malware/3362
    Reply