Apple needed this reality check
A decade ago, in response to a string of debilitating network worm attacks, Microsoft implemented “Trustworthy Computing,” a major initiative aimed at making the world’s most widely used operating system more resilient to malicious hacker attacks. It worked. The security posture of the Windows operating system has improved and Microsoft’s security response process is now the standard that others -- like Adobe -- are copying.
Now it’s Apple’s turn. The company must use the Flashback attack as a reality check and reject the security-by-PR approach that tricked its user base into complacency. Apple needs to take the security game seriously. We are no longer in 2006 when Macs were deemed safe from attacks and cute commercials could be used to sell an operating system. Flashback is the first major Mac botnet but you can bet there will be more. Apple cannot afford to ignore the lesson of Flashback.
Users have the power
There are many reasons that we use and love our Macs so passionately. First and foremost is a nearly flawless user experience. Apple has, without a doubt, set the bar for great software integrated seamlessly with hardware that is at once elegant, artful, and totally usable.
None of that, however, is worth a hill of beans if using Apple products means exposure to malware that the company ignores without a media frenzy. Of even greater concern, though, is a user base blissfully unaware of security issues without said media frenzy. Sure, we should be able to expect our OS vendor of choice to proactively address security issues. But if we don't back up those expectations with our pocketbooks, Apple will never take the same leadership role in security that they have in hardware and software design (or, for that matter, that Microsoft did when users began to walk away).