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Microsoft: Apple to blame for Windows virus

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006
News Categories: iPod

When Apple said this week that a small number of fifth-generation iPods had shipped with a Windows virus, the company’s statement included the line “as you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.” Now, Microsoft is hitting back, with current and former employees saying it’s wrong to blame the software giant and that Apple’s quality assurance checks are at fault.

“It’s not a matter of which platform the virus originated [on]. The fact that it’s found on the portable player means that there’s an issue with how the quality checks, specifically the content check, was done,” said Jonathan Poon, Microsoft’s product release virus scanning chief. “Steve, if you need someone to advise on how to improve your quality checks, feel free to contact me,” Poon said, referring to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

James Abrams, who held Poon’s job for more than a decade at Microsoft, said: “The Apple iPod incident was not about Microsoft having a hardy operating system, it was all about security and process… That Apple would blame Microsoft demonstrates a lack of understanding of remedial security and manufacturing processes. Virus was only a symptom of the problem. Apple didn’t know what they were shipping.”

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Comments

1

I thought it was childish of Apple to put that in their statement in the first place.  Maybe they thought they were being funny, but it was pretty pathetic attempt to shift blame.

Posted by Brent on October 19, 2006 at 7:59 AM (PDT)

2

Well, to be quite honest, if a number of Microsoft’s Zunes somehow became infected with a virus originating from Mac OS X, I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft make very similar statements.  Oh wait, I forgot.  We don’t have to worry about viruses on Macs.  Enough said.  Sure, quality checking was the immediate problem, but the root of the problem?  Buggy Windows OS that is practically designed to be hacked into.

Posted by Phillip on October 19, 2006 at 8:10 AM (PDT)

3

Heh. Poon.

Posted by J on October 19, 2006 at 8:15 AM (PDT)

4

You aren’t such a fanboy that you don’t realize that nobody writes Mac viruses because virtually nobody uses Macs, are you?

Posted by proanim8r on October 19, 2006 at 8:22 AM (PDT)

5

Well then, I guess that makes for a good reason to switch.  Although, I’m not sure where you’ve heard that no one uses Macs, I can agree that there are significantly less of us out there.  Plus number one.

And then, there’s that whole Windows thing about using integrated applications and applications with scripting languages with access to the file system, such as VBS, that make Windows even more vulnerable.  And we can’t forget the fact that Macs have a secure Unix base, making them extremely less likely to be exploited by hackers and viruses.  Plus number two.

So I guess when there are eventually more Mac users out there (and there will be), I wouldn’t be surprised to see significantly, and I mean SIGNIFICANTLY, less numbers of viruses on Mac, as compared to Windows.  QED.

Posted by Phillip on October 19, 2006 at 8:35 AM (PDT)

6

That biggest security breach Apple committed was using Windows in the first place. If no Windows computers were used with the iPods before they shipped then they were have not had the virus on them.

The fact that Windows machines can contract viri so easy should be the real point. Let’s hope that Vista will fix the problem and not create new ones.

Posted by Randy Smith on October 19, 2006 at 8:36 AM (PDT)

7

Apple isn’t passing the blame. They are “even more disappointed that they didn’t catch it”. They are holding themselves responsible.

It was a compromised Windows system that created the problem in the first place, though. Something we shouldn’t have to worry about.

Posted by coolfactor on October 19, 2006 at 8:38 AM (PDT)

8

I love my iPod and other Apple products, but this time there is no one to blame but Apple.  Who cares if the percentage of affected iPods is very small, It’s unacceptable nonetheless.

PS.  Love you iPod, but don’t be a fanatic!

Posted by JOG on October 19, 2006 at 8:42 AM (PDT)

9

While Windows is strangely vunerable to virii, selling a product that contains a virus is a completely isolated event. Apple’s comment was designed to be inflammatory, and was ultimately kinda stupid.

Posted by Liam on October 19, 2006 at 8:53 AM (PDT)

10

I’ve been a Mac user for about 15 years, and I’m 100% with MS on this one.

Apple’s statement is just horribly lame.

They should remove it immediately.

Posted by lookmark on October 19, 2006 at 8:56 AM (PDT)

11

Well on my point of view first of all. I agree with majorities of ppl here on regards to this Virus issue.

First of all, where is the Q.C check for ipod before it is officially delivered and shipped? Well the point is that Apple blames MS for the threat of the virus but on the consumer’s point of view.. who gives a #### about this ? The fact is that CONSUMER purchase this product from APPLE and therefore APPLE should seriously consider this virus issue as (a mistake) that should first place shall not occur at all given the sence that their statement on this issue was VERY LAME.

Another issue i would like to highlight on this is that their FIRMWARE first of all are giving hell out of nuisance and problems to most of the existing ipod users and im pretty sure their Q.C for these firmwares are not really satisfying at all. If you were to developed a new firmware in future (dear Apple), kindly ensure that most apple ipods are compliant to it as the matter of fact that most ppl owned the ipod that they had developed. Consequently, for new updates in future… kindly be more HONEST & Specific on describing what have the upgrade done and (pros & cons, bug fixes & Be MORE DETAIL WHAT WOULD THE NEW UPGRADE INSTIGATE) listed. This would pretty hell helped out many users on this forum to indentify the changes and performance without guessing and testing their ipod for a couple of days/weeks/years to identify if their ipod had been upgraded smoothly. Thanks Apple.

Posted by mishima on October 19, 2006 at 9:09 AM (PDT)

12

I read this analogy for this specific incident on another site and thought I should pass it on.

“if the Windows platform was more protected, the worm would not even spread to said platform and it would be a dead issue.

if I hit another car, yes.. it’s my fault. I wasnt paying attention. But if the other drivers airbag doesnt go off and they get hurt, then it’s the car companys fault for not having the airbag properly installed.”

It’s so clear now.

Posted by appleuzr on October 19, 2006 at 9:19 AM (PDT)

13

Apple: Meow, meow.

Microsoft: Meow, meow, meow.

Posted by Alex on October 19, 2006 at 9:58 AM (PDT)

14

I knew that some Mac fanatic would cut down MS.  Yeah, it’s buggy, script-based software, but there are 10 bazillion of us using it because we don’t know any better and sometimes don’t have a choice. Hackers don’t target Mac or linux users for virus attacks because it wouldn’t make a dent in anyone’s radar.  These misguided idiots (geniuses?) aim for the broadest target with the most impact.  This issue was Apple’s fault.  Do I blame MS when my network is attacked?  No.  I spend some money to buy a solution to try and prevent it.  Apple made how many millions in profit during Q4?  They should have spent a few thousand of that revenue on a preventative solution.  There are even a number of adequate free solutions.

Posted by genius on October 19, 2006 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

15

And all of this fuss over “less than 1% of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006” seems a bit much.  Microsoft needs to worry more about cleaning up their own considerable messes than complaining about Apple you’d think. 

Besides, I didn’t see anyone raising a stink when Creative had the exact same thing happen last year.  But then again, nobody buys any Zen players anyway I don’t guess, so nobody noticed…

Posted by SJR on October 19, 2006 at 10:23 AM (PDT)

16

“Steve, if you need someone to advise on how to improve your quality checks, feel free to contact me,” Poon said,

ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Art Vandelay on October 19, 2006 at 10:26 AM (PDT)

17

Appleuzr, that is ridiculous.  What if you hit the other car on the side, say the driver’s side? Is it the car company’s fault for not installing some type of side airbag?

What if you hit a guy on a bike? is it the bike maker’s fault for not having a special flying matress that flys out of the front wheel to cushion your fall?

What if you hit a pedestrian? Is it God’s fault for not making the guy’s bones as hard as steel?

The point is, YOU caused the accident, therefore YOU are at fault. 

Unforunately, no one seems to want to take responsibility for their own actions anymore, always trying to blame someone (or something) else.  Remember the guy who sued McDonalds for coffee that was too hot? AND WON???

Posted by jqc on October 19, 2006 at 10:27 AM (PDT)

18

Oh come on, 25 iPod’s out of how many million? Get over it people…...seriously, none of my friends had problems, and there’s quite a few of them that just bought the new iPod.  Get over it, this is just rediculous to drag this damned thing on so long.

Posted by MatrixSJD on October 19, 2006 at 11:18 AM (PDT)

19

whateva…

Posted by DIMEFAN on October 19, 2006 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

20

This is ridiculous.  Did ANYONE read Apple’s original statement?

“as you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.”

I see Apple here venting their frustration about Windows, the same frustration that MILLIONS of users vent at work all the time….

But then the next line says they are even MORE upset at theirselves for allowing it to happen in the first place…

Doesn’t ANYONE have a friggin’ sense of humor anymore???

And by the way, this certainly isn’t the first time a virus has been installed on hardware before it left the factory.

Posted by Cameron T. on October 19, 2006 at 12:43 PM (PDT)

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