Saturday, November 03, 2007

Here's your big chance, Microtards...

There is malware in the wild that specifically targets Macintosh users. The party has begun in Redmond. Notice I said, it targets users. It runs on the computer, but the target is the user.

Here's how it works. The Macintosh user surfs porn sites. The Macintosh user tries to run a video from a porn site. The porn site sends an alert box that says Quicktime won't work with porn videos from the site unless you download and install a program the porn site will be happy to provide you.

Then, the Macintosh user downloads the malicious little piece of code and gives it root access. The malware takes over the computer and uses it for evil purposes. The user never notices that anything is wrong. Something about changing the DNS (geek stuff – beyond my Ken. Beyond my Barbie and my GI Joe, too, for that matter).

What exactly is the malware and what does it do? Who gives a shit? The problem in this scenario is the user. Certainly, the creator of the code should be shot without trial, but the moron at the keyboard is the real problem.

First of all, surfing porn sites is a great American tradition dating back to the earliest days of the internet. Any experienced surfer knows that porn sites want to get as much in your face as possible, and that they'll use the technology to its best advantage to accomplish that. Pornographers, by definition, are not particularly bothered by moral dilemmas. If their activities get more stuff in your face, they're happier. They don't care if that pisses you off, offends you, sickens you, as long as you see a lot more of what they're selling. They're in a percentage game. A certain percentage of their displays will earn money. The more they display, the more money they make.

For surfing porn, Macs are a good choice. The porn guys just can't plant their malware goodies in Macs as easily as Windows. If you just want to look a little and get out, Macs are great. The pornos hate that, though. They want a way to make you look more than you really want to. They are actively looking for a way to overcome that little problem with Macs. Also, Firefox and Safari are increasingly immune to attacks like being unable to back out without getting even more porn. The pornos are working that problem too.

Now they've found that the weak link isn't a memory assignment or a buffer overflow; it's the drooling idiot typing with one hand. They say, "if you want to continue, we need you to give us your computer, your credit card numbers, and all those steamy emails you sent to "Cindy in Columbus." The great philosopher Robin Williams once observed that men were given a brain and a penis and only enough blood to operate one of them at a time.

So there you are, in Forrest Gump mode, making a decision that can affect the rest of your life. Is there a problem with that?

"But you ain't got no legs, Lieutenant Dan."

The lesson here is: Surf the porn sites if you want to. Just make sure you're the only one with access to your root.

Oh yeah, and get a Mac. Every time somebody discovers a piece of malware for the Mac it makes headlines coast to coast. Discovering malware on a Mac is like discovering a Republican Senator is gay - big news. Headlines. Larry King puts in an extra microphone. Hillary announces that all Republicans are hypocrites. All the news channels get a ratings boost.

A new piece of malware on a PC is like discovering a Democrat Senator is gay. "...and? Your point is?" Reporters get an extra day off. Oprah yawns. The front section of the paper gets extra ads. Hillary announces that all Republicans are hypocrites (okay, some things never change).