Conversations overheard



  • "You don't need antivirus on a mac"

    well done Apple, you succeeded at making your users stupider.



  • @algorythmics said:

    "You don't need antivirus on a mac"

    well done Apple, you succeeded at making your users stupider.

    Boring.
    Let's spice it up.

    Honest opinion, not (just) flame bait:
    You don't need antivirus at all IMO. And even if you buy into antiviruses, you would still need one less on Mac and *nix then on PC.



  • "office 2003 is the most stable office edition"

    I am sat here with office 2003 and whenever I try to save a document I am not sure if it will actually save or just give me a 0kb .doc with the same filename and delete everything I have done .



  • Fair, I guess I would agree that antivirus is of little value these days, however the conversation also included "the mac environment is secure", and I'm sorry, but that's just idiocy, and directly caused by Apple's advertising.



  • @algorythmics said:

    "the mac environment is secure", and I'm sorry, but that's just idiocy, and directly caused by Apple's advertising.

    It's not completely secure, but it is more secure than Windows. Reasons:

    • Microsoft has improved, but *nix is still a more secure base platform

    • Less Macs than PC-s. So, it's a less enticing target. If you are a virus maker, and want to target blindly, it pays up better to go after Windows than Mac

    • Richer, technically more literate user base. They are less likely to chase torrents, iffy links. More likely to get their software from App Store (there's no equivalent for Windows).

    • On the other hand, Windows also has more corporate users, who are a recent popular target of data hijackers (if you consider those 'viruses', I think mostly they get access through social engineering, but I'm not sure).

    • Recent Mac versions make it even more difficult to install software outside the app store (have to go into special settings menu and allow "untrasted sources" or some crap).

    Things are more equal than they used to be, but IMO there are still more viruses in PC ecosystem than Mac.



  • @cartman82 said:

    * Less Macs than PC-s. So, it's a less enticing target. If you are a virus maker, and want to target blindly, it pays up better to go after Windows than Mac

    • Richer, technically more literate user base. They are less likely to chase torrents, iffy links. More likely to get their software from App Store (there's no equivalent for Windows).

    Neither of these are particularly valid arguments, the second one is not even that logical, rich != more technically literate (although you can argue both of those as separate groups and be correct).

    Saying the security of a platform is affected by the value as a target is like saying that coke is more likely to cause diabetes because it sells more units than tesco value cola. You might be targeted less on a mac, but that is irrelevant to how secure the platform itself is.

    additionally, you are arguing based on security as a gradient, you and I both know that that is what security is, but like I said, the conversation I overheard used the binary term "secure", which is a success by apple marketing (years ago, and they dont do it now, but the damage is done) at convincing less technically literate people that the platform is something that it can never be - specifically, completely and entirely secure.

    we all know security is a gradient, and most of your points are valid in that discussion, and I wouldn't try to argue windows is more secure (I might try to argue equally secure, but I don't think I would succeed, I know little of these matters) but less technical users have demonstrably been convinced otherwise.

    This is not me being an apple hater, this is me being an apple lying to users who can't tell that's what happened hater.



  • The main problem is that there are few Mac antiviruses that actually target Mac malware. I’m even inclined to think that “few” == 0 in that context.
    I also never seen a Mac malware in my entire life, and no Windows malware since Sasser.



  • @algorythmics said:

    Neither of these are particularly valid arguments, the second one is not even that logical, rich != more technically literate (although you can argue both of those as separate groups and be correct).

    Rich means they are not gonna click on links like "free smuggled pills!" or "cracked keymaker haxxxor!!!". They are gonna go to app store and buy stuff.

    @algorythmics said:

    Saying the security of a platform is affected by the value as a target is like saying that coke is more likely to cause diabetes because it sells more units than tesco value cola. You might be targeted less on a mac, but that is irrelevant to how secure the platform itself is.

    Nobody cares how secure something is in some abstract sense. Security is a practical matter. For example, I would be super secure if I wore a gun and body armor all the time, but that is just not practical for my circumstances. It would be more practical, however, if I was patrolling the streets of an occupied city.

    @algorythmics said:

    additionally, you are arguing based on security as a gradient, you and I both know that that is what security is, but like I said, the conversation I overheard used the binary term "secure", which is a success by apple marketing (years ago, and they dont do it now, but the damage is done) at convincing less technically literate people that the platform is something that it can never be - specifically, completely and entirely secure.

    we all know security is a gradient, and most of your points are valid in that discussion, and I wouldn't try to argue windows is more secure (I might try to argue equally secure, but I don't think I would succeed, I know little of these matters) but less technical users have demonstrably been convinced otherwise.

    This is not me being an apple hater, this is me being an apple lying to users who can't tell that's what happened hater.

    Ok, I typed the previous thing before I read this.

    Fair points. Some idiot hears mac is secure and goes out downloading all sorts of crap. Understood.



  • @VinDuv said:

    I also never seen a Mac malware in my entire life, and no Windows malware since Sasser.

    Most of what passes for windows malware these days basically relies upon you to click off several warning dialogs and install it yourself. Their target audience is an ever contracting circle of technically illiterate people who are slowly being shipped off into nursing homes and going too senile to use computers.

    You should be worried about the next big scam idea.


  • SockDev

    @cartman82 said:

    More likely to get their software from App Store (there's no equivalent for Windows).

    Unless you're on Windows 8, which does have an app store.

    But then that means you have Windows 8.

    [size=4][spoiler]I actually like Windows 8. Yes, even the Metro apps, though I only use Twitter, Mail and Calendar.[/spoiler][/size]



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Unless you're on Windows 8, which does have an app store.

    But then that means you have Windows 8.

    And that your software is consisted solely from match 3 games, fart button widgets and weather apps.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Nobody cares how secure something is in some abstract sense. Security is a practical matter. For example, I would be super secure if I wore a gun and body armor all the time, but that is just not practical for my circumstances. It would be more practical, however, if I was patrolling the streets of an occupied city.

    I think we are arguing the same point but both of us think we are on the practical side of the argument. I would say that it is not a practical matter that there are less macs being used, but a transient and non-permanent variable that in 10 years time assuming no software changes may well be very different.

    the security of the platform itself, i.e. number and severity of vulnerabilities is quantifiable, practical and definite, (although not currently that well understood, due to the previous paragraph) and assuming no software changes will stay the same in perpetuity. I think this is the more important point to consider, and arguing that everything is fine because no one currently targets macs is flawed logic, and an extension of security by obscurity in my book. Just because no one is looking, doesn't mean the problems aren't there, and its the problems that are all that matters in evaluating the security of an operating system.


  • SockDev

    @cartman82 said:

    And that your software is consisted solely from match 3 games, fart button widgets and weather apps.

    Not forgetting the 29578295829563942 YouTube apps :)



  • Why are those even a thing? Why would I want an app to do what the browser already does?


  • SockDev

    Because people are stupid and will download apps that steal all their data just so they can watch the dancing kitties.



  • @algorythmics said:

    the security of the platform itself, i.e. number and severity of vulnerabilities is quantifiable, practical and definite, (although not currently that well understood, due to the previous paragraph) and assuming no software changes will stay the same in perpetuity. I think this is the more important point to consider, and arguing that everything is fine because no one currently targets macs is flawed logic, and an extension of security by obscurity in my book. Just because no one is looking, doesn't mean the problems aren't there, and its the problems that are all that matters in evaluating the security of an operating system.

    The only valid reason to consider absolute security is if you think someone is out to target you specifically. In all other cases (99.999% of people), standard cost-benefit heuristics is exactly how security should be done. Not some crazy "we'll make a bunker out of everything no matter the costs" ideal, but practical decision on how much some obscure fix is worth compared to a feature real people will actually use.



  • you're right of course.

    I just dislike the low number of valid target macs as an advertising point as it seems like a self defeating point, and a significant amount of laurel resting.



  • @cartman82 said:

    You don't need antivirus at all IMO.

    I'd say if you have decent antivirus software that isn't worse than the disease (lucky), then keep it. For me the only thing it would catch is when a site takes advantage of some weird browser hole and manages to get itself downloaded on to your computer. Haven't seen one of those in 10 years. I don't download anything from choice without at least looking it up against the word 'malware' though.

    That said, last night I got redirected to a dodgy site that assured me it was downloading a flash update. I was too busy shift-deleting it to find out.

    @algorythmics said:

    "You don't need antivirus on a mac"

    Depends on the user, because I'm certain there's somebody who writes mac viruses and sends them in penis enlargement emails.



  • To my knowledge the CryptoLocker family of malware affected both OS's as an example


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    The only mac user I know is my mother, who repeatedly tells me she's too stupid to learn how to do anything complicated, but who bought a Mac back in the late 90s when apparently it was literally impossible to do photo editing on a PC because "PCs can't do monitor calibration" and never looked back.

    I wouldn't assume they're all technically literate.



  • I never get viruses and I don't run an antivirus on my PC. And I lock down friends' and family's computers and install antivirus yet they still get viruses weekly.

    I am forced to conclude that there is no correlation between presence/absence of an antivirus suite and presence/absence of viruses.



  • @mott555 said:

    I am forced to conclude that there is no correlation between presence/absence of an antivirus suite and presence/absence of viruses.

    Look at your data again.



  • you are assuming that @mott555 never used antivirus, maybe his is the data point that demonstrates the lack of correlation, as there was no (statistically significant) difference with or without antivirus software in his case.



  • @algorythmics said:

    you are assuming that @mott555 never used antivirus

    Maybe he ran it at some point, but I'm pretty much taking his description of his data as the only data he's using for his conclusion.

    @algorythmics said:

    maybe his is the data point that demonstrates the lack of correlation, as there was no (statistically significant) difference with or without antivirus software in his case.

    You're going to need to get him to fess up to that then.



  • I was only making a slight against the computer illiterate who CLICK ALL THE SPAM LINKS!! every chance they get...I wasn't expecting a sort of Spanish Inquisition.

    I did use AVG like ten years ago. Now I only use Windows Defender because it's bundled with Windows 8 but I'm not sure if that counts for anything. It sure doesn't work on anyone else's PC from what I can tell.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Microsoft has improved, but *nix is still a more secure base platform

    Really?

    The problem is you have two choices:

    1. *nix is a secure base platform that does nothing at all interesting

    2. You go beyond the kernel and realize everything in *nix that does something interesting is just as insecure as any other OS. For example, OpenSSL.

    This is part of that oh-so-clever Linux-user debating technique where they can change word the word "Linux" means at a whim to best support their argument. Is "Linux" a full OS or a kernel? Well, when talking about security it's obviously a kernel! When talking about usability, it's obviously a full OS! Yes we use the same word for both things because we are horrible people!

    @cartman82 said:

    Richer, technically more literate user base.

    Richer, maybe.



  • @VinDuv said:

    I also never seen a Mac malware in my entire life, and no Windows malware since Sasser.

    You ain't lived very long. Macs were virus havens back in the Classic era, due to a few bad decisions made by the OS designers, along with the lack of a filesystem with real permissions.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Richer, maybe.

    I'm not sure I'd even go for this. Back in college everyone had MacBooks. These were the same kids complaining that they could only afford Ramen noodles, and some of them would get evicted because they wouldn't pay rent, but by B*****m they'd get a new Macbook and a new iPhone every year!

    The best part was if you asked them why they had a MacBook. "Because they're better for video editing, and they're more reliable!"

    "Okay, Mr. Smarty Pants, when's the last time you did any video editing?"

    "Um, err, well, this one time...actually I don't know."

    "And why do you get a new one every year?"

    "Well I dropped one and the screen broke and it was cheaper to get another one than fix it, then my new one had a bad battery that wouldn't charge so we exchanged it, then I had one where the OS X update broke everything and the Genius Bar said I should just buy a new one."



  • @cartman82 said:

    Rich means they are not gonna click on links like "free smuggled pills!" or "cracked keymaker haxxxor!!!". They are gonna go to app store and buy stuff.

    Do you have a cite, or are you just kneejerking? I don't see how B follows A, here.

    @cartman82 said:

    Nobody cares how secure something is in some abstract sense. Security is a practical matter.

    Which is also why nobody gives a shit that the bare Linux kernel is secure. Sure it's secure. It also doesn't fucking do anything.

    @cartman82 said:

    For example, I would be super secure if I wore a gun and body armor all the time,

    Wearing a gun all the time (at least open-carry, which I assume is what you mean) is just asking for trouble. You'd be significantly LESS secure. Except maybe in Texas.

    @Yamikuronue said:

    The only mac user I know is my mother, who repeatedly tells me she's too stupid to learn how to do anything complicated, but who bought a Mac back in the late 90s when apparently it was literally impossible to do photo editing on a PC because "PCs can't do monitor calibration" and never looked back.

    I wouldn't assume they're all technically literate.

    Same deal here. The only people I know who use Macs day-to-day are my parents (definitely not technically literate), and my old boss (ditto). Now I do know that a bunch of Linux developers defected to Apple, so there's SOME audience of technically-literate Mac users-- I talk to a guy on Twitter like that-- but that's probably a drop-in-the-bucket compared too their total userbase.

    Note that doesn't apply to phones; their phones seem to be used by a wide-range of people.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Wearing a gun all the time (at least open-carry, which I assume is what you mean) is just asking for trouble. You'd be significantly LESS secure. Except maybe in Texas.

    ...

    @blakeyrat said:

    Do you have a cite, or are you just kneejerking? I don't see how B follows A, here.



  • @mott555 said:

    I'm not sure I'd even go for this.

    Yes, thank you, that is what the word "maybe" means.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Maybe they were rich before they started spending all their money on macs.



  • @jaloopa said:

    Maybe they were rich before they started spending all their money on magic beans.

    .


  • area_deu

    So you agree with Stallman that the OS should be named differently?!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Which is also why nobody gives a shit that the bare Linux kernel is secure. Sure it's secure. It also doesn't fucking do anything.

    It's so secure that I've seen (on my game server box) multiple kernel updates in a single week.

    ...so no, even the kernel itself can't be considered to be secure. Granted, it seems like the vast majority of the routine bugs are privilege escalation bugs that would require the user to have an account first...



  • Yes, but Linux users like the current name because they can win forumpointzzz via. name confusion. None of this is accidental.

    EDIT: BTW, Sun back int he day pulled this same shit with Java, where "Java" simultaneously meant a programming language, a virtual machine, and a class library.



  • Let me just start by saying FINALLY!

    All the morning, these tame Eurpeans are all like "everyone has their point of view", "you make good points Cartman" blah blah blah...

    But here rushes in Blakey, hardly wiped the crust from his eyes and already screaming at people that they are idiots.

    YES BLAKEY! TELL ME HOW WRONG I AM! TELL ME HARD!

    @blakeyrat said:

    Really?

    The problem is you have two choices:

    1. nix is a secure base platform that does *nothing at all interesting

    2. You go beyond the kernel and realize everything in *nix that does something interesting is just as insecure as any other OS. For example, OpenSSL.

    This is part of that oh-so-clever Linux-user debating technique where they can change word the word "Linux" means at a whim to best support their argument. Is "Linux" a full OS or a kernel? Well, when talking about security it's obviously a kernel! When talking about usability, it's obviously a full OS! Yes we use the same word for both things because we are horrible people!

    Mostly I mean the deeply integrated user system, where anything hardly ever gets root privileges. On Windows, they try to move in that direction, but they are hampered by having to support a bunch of legacy stuff that treated the whole system as its oyster.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Richer, maybe.

    I would put them in the mid-technical competency range. Windows has the lows and the highs.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Do you have a cite, or are you just kneejerking? I don't see how B follows A, here.

    Is pure logic not enough? You don't believe people who are willing to fork out for Macs and are conditioned to use app store for everything are less likely to go to shantytown looking for cheap/free shit?



  • @cartman82 said:

    Mostly I mean the deeply integrated user system, where anything hardly ever gets root privileges.

    Oh you mean like Windows?

    @cartman82 said:

    On Windows, they try to move in that direction, but they are hampered by having to support a bunch of legacy stuff that treated the whole system as its oyster.

    Like what? The new driver model introduced in Vista was basically the end of that shit. Now all that's left is shitty applications that expect Program Files to be write-able, and MS put in folder redirects for those.

    @cartman82 said:

    I would put them in the mid-technical competency range. Windows has the lows and the highs.

    Yeah well I think you're dead-wrong on that.

    @cartman82 said:

    Is pure logic not enough?

    No.

    @cartman82 said:

    You don't believe people who are willing to fork out for Macs and are conditioned to use app store for everything are less likely to go to shantytown looking for cheap/free shit?

    No. Or maybe yes. Your negative there is confusing me. I don't think the amount of money spent on the computer has any relation to the technical competence level.

    If you don't believe me, talk to your nearest non-IT CEO.



  • @cartman82 said:

    tame Eurpeans

    now I feel like I did the wrong thing.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Like what? The new driver model introduced in Vista was basically the end of that shit. Now all that's left is shitty applications that expect Program Files to be write-able, and MS put in folder redirects for those.

    Except all the people that turn off UAC (like me) and do it bareback.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah well I think you're dead-wrong on that.

    YES! I'M WRONG BLAKEY! I'VE BEEN A BAD POSTER!

    @blakeyrat said:

    No.

    OH YES, SHORT AND DEVASTATING! GIVE IT TO ME BLAKEY! GIVE ME MORE!

    @blakeyrat said:

    No. Or maybe yes. Your negative there is confusing me. I don't think the amount of money spent on the computer has any relation to the technical competence level.

    If you don't believe me, talk to your nearest non-IT CEO.

    Not competence, the need. If you have money, you have less need to do shady stuff, thus less chance to get viruses.


  • area_deu

    @cartman82 said:

    all the people that turn off UAC

    Doing it wrong™<!--I mean it.-->



  • @cartman82 said:

    you have less need to do shady stuff, thus less chance to get viruses.

    not to interrupt you and blakey's little "nobody can be right except me" love in, but "those who have most, spend least" springs to mind.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Except all the people that turn off UAC (like me) and do it bareback.

    Then you deserve what you get. You turned off all the safety features, so it's your fault when you die in a fire. The problem is that assholes* like you perpetuate the myth that Windows is still insecure.

    *I can't call my cow-orkers assholes, so you're elected



  • @cartman82 said:

    Except all the people that turn off UAC (like me) and do it bareback.

    are we arguing that having a security feature that can be turned off is tantamount to not having a security feature?

    doesn't linux basically live for that sort of shit?



  • @SirTwist said:

    Then you deserve what you get. You turned off all the safety features, so it's your fault when you die in a fire. The problem is that assholes* like you perpetuate the myth that Windows is still insecure.

    *I can't call my cow-orkers assholes, so you're elected

    Who said I got anything? I haven't had a virus in years.



  • Anything I or my coworkers do in Linux pretty much starts with the sudo command, so same thing there. It's not really secure when everyone does everything as root.



  • @algorythmics said:

    are we arguing that having a security feature that can be turned off is tantamount to not having a security feature?

    doesn't linux basically live for that sort of shit?

    It's more difficult to do that in linux.

    Also, it's the issue of psychology. Linux users never had the "always root all the time" situation, so the mindset, along with all the software, is geared towards unprivileged account being the norm. On Windows, it's the opposite.

    Things are changing, but it's hard to shift course. All the people and habits and legacy software and online posts won't change just because you suddenly decided to switch things around.



  • @algorythmics said:

    not to interrupt you and blakey's little "nobody can be right except me" love in, but "those who have most, spend least" springs to mind.

    Wrong, because you've already demonstrated you are willing to spend frivolously by buying Mac.



  • @mott555 said:

    Anything I or my coworkers do in Linux pretty much starts with the sudo command, so same thing there. It's not really secure when everyone does everything as root.

    Hmm, I suppose you would need to use sudo to build a virus from source...



  • @cartman82 said:

    Wrong, because you've already demonstrated you are willing to spend frivolously by buying Mac.

    Stop assuming people are logical in their spending habits.


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