How to get rid of malware

by Volker Weber

IBM has started a new website with weekly (?) podcasts. In the first episode Rocky Oliver explains:

Is your computer riddled with spyware, adware and other malware? ShortCuts security expert Rocky Oliver shares his tips for beating the spyware menace. Rocky recommends two freeware programs: ad-aware and spybot search and destroy.

Rocky, this is actually much easier. :-)


Good luck, good luck...

Villi Helgason, 2006-07-28

I hope Macs don't get popular...

Carl Tyler, 2006-07-28

Why Carl? Of course popularity makes you a target. But you can’t argue with a UNIX core, compared with Windoze.

Ben Poole, 2006-07-28

So Ben you are willing to guarantee that UNIX and Apple code has no possibility of exploitation? Were there no humans involed their creation :-)

Carl Tyler, 2006-07-29

Carl, it is the difference between theory and practice. In theory there could be lots of malware for the Mac, in practice there isn't. In theory you and me could be slim, in practice we aren't. In theory Hannover could run well on Linux, Mac and Windows, in practice ... ;-)

Volker Weber, 2006-07-29

Maybe one day the Mac becomes that large, that it may be called "adult". By then he will have at least the same marketshare than the Windoze machines. That will be the time of truth. Odds are, that then the same amount of malware and Co. for the Mac will be around as for Windoof. Same may be true for the Penguin .....

Jens-B. Augustiny, 2006-07-29

I am big boned and enjoy my food :-)

Carl Tyler, 2006-07-29

So Ben you are willing to guarantee that UNIX and Apple code has no possibility of exploitation?

Now Carl, you know better, you’re just dissembling :-p

Of course you can exploit OS X. The question is how, to what extent, and more importantly, what damage that can cause. UNIX variants operate a sandbox model of security that is simply far superior to anything Windows has. Back in the mists of time, who knows why Gates and co. had to go down their own NT route instead of simply looking at UNIX? Apple’s move to abandon Copland in favour of Darwin / FreeBSD etc. was one of the best they ever made.

Ben Poole, 2006-07-29

Why is this a shock? From day 1, the Apple / IBM model differences hinged on design standards and flexibility.

The flexibility that makes IBM compatibles so ubiquitous and frankly drove a large portion of the industry innovation is exactly what leads to stability and security issues.

With IBM Compatibles, from first PC's, you had a standardized open hardware architecture and operating system driver model. It has always been massively easier to create new hardware for the IBM. That model is exactly what has always been exploitable for security hacks, and liable to crashes from poorly written drivers. In the DOS days it was interrupt 0x13 and 0x21 behind the good and the bad. In the win32 days its driver level code.

There were very few non-apple hardware parts for the old Apple equipment. There was almost nothing to connect it to 3270 based systems so corporations couldn't use them to replace terminals. (Yes, I know there were a few, but they sucked -- I supported them).

Today we have USB and standardized high speed interfaces so some of that changes, but its this very model that made the difference for both good and bad.

Those who wish to stand on a soapbox and proclaim their wonderful Mac's as somehow better or whatever -- grow the the hell up. The market says the PC has been a better value for many years. Beyond that it's a matter of taste. I own Apple hardware and PC hardware and prefer the latter.

Andrew Pollack, 2006-07-29

Those who wish to stand on a soapbox and proclaim their wonderful Mac's as somehow better or whatever -- grow the the hell up.

Where’s the fun in being grown-up?

Ben Poole, 2006-07-29

And how would Andrew know? ;-)

Volker Weber, 2006-07-29

I used to have a Mac.
Then I got real furniture.

Bob Balaban, 2006-07-29

.... yeah.... that's the other thing about those pretty little macs. They distort your perspective. Sitting behind the little delicate keyboards, little men feel big; and seen from the view behind the bright white monitors, big men seem smaller somehow.

Apple computers seem to be a bit like strong drink that way -- but only at a distance. :-)

Andrew Pollack, 2006-07-30

Andrew’s starting to worry me now... ;o)

Ben Poole, 2006-07-30

I've been worried before. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2006-07-30

Volker, you should be concerned…

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-07-31

Old news (10.4, Tiger, is not a "future release!), probably related to this (since discredited) story:

Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes

Ben Poole, 2006-07-31

Cool! I'll definately be listening to that.

I can add some to the list of my Malware Arsenal: Spybot S&D, and Ad-Aware, CWShredder, VundoFix.exe, ProcessExplorer, HiJack This, Killbox, DLLCompare, SysProtectRemover, VirtumundoBeGone, ResetTeaTimer.bat, and my CDROM of Bart's PE when the BlazeFind removal ruins the registry hive. :-)

Jess Stratton, 2006-07-31

And don’t forget SpywareBlaster — that forms part of my arsenal along with SpyBot and Ad-Aware. It’s frighteing how much stuff gets picked up by these tools, even on a PC as pure as my work one. *cough*

Ben Poole, 2006-10-05

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe