Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are Macs Worth the Money?

D.Lee Beard shows off his new Star Trek cellphone, addresses an IT department security e-mail, and answers viewer questions on whether Mac laptops are worth the money, why is Final Cut Pro so much faster on the Techies' computer, and how to change your Mac system keyboard and menus to other languages.
Are Macs Worth the Money?


kamikaze said...

In this episode your saying that your mac is very secure virus wise.. yet on the news lately they shown that the virusmakers found a way to infect your mac and abuse it

Great show though :D keep it up

Greetings from The Netherlands

D.Lee Beard said...

I would be interested in any links to such a Mac virus story you speak of. To my knowledge, there are no viruses that infect Mac OS X. Yes, there are some security concerns but they are nowhere near the scale of problems that people face with Windows!

iwi said...

Hey D.Lee, thanks for the episode!
Will you have some students from your new university helping you with Ask The Techies? And one more thing...where is mic? I haven't seen in on your sweater, you know, black and small one, like the old times :D. Thank you

macintard said...

So far, there are maybe 2 or 3 times people have gotten infected with Mac virii in the wild. In the wild it is always done with social engineering so far. People are tricked or aren't attentive and the virus/trojan is installed after they do it themselves by giving the infected program their admin password to install it. So far there is no real world exploit such as buffer overrun where the infection gets into the Mac OS like the blaster or similar worms that simply spread via the network through flaws in the OS without user intervention, such as being dooped into installing it etc. I read that once at Blackhat they hacked a stock Macbook in about 3 minutes, but these guys are engineers, not just a teen with a lot of time spending a lot of time in the basement. Here is a story on Zdnet:

The only other wild exploit I can remember is hackers posting in public forums that they had a video of a really hot babe, or something really funny, and when you go to view it with your Mac, it says you can't view it without a video codec...turns out when you install it, you get infected and taken over. But, basically, you are real virus threat unless you don't scan pirated software, or get duped into installing infected software under the guise of something legitimate.

And yes, I have a lot of time on my hands. For a while I got obsessed with security and was thinking of becoming whitehat and decided to pursue other interests. But I still run antivirus and used to use alternate firewalls like Waterroof, Noobproof or Flying Buttress, as well as Macscan, and chkrootkit compiled with

macintard said...

BTW, love the show! Even visited Ohio Uni in Second Life, and now they do have Tron avatars! I remember you asked me about that, and I have one, and there is a Tron sim where you can buy more than just the human type of avies.I remember I emailed you about something a while back and may have the emails in my gmail archives. I think it is great there are over 60 universities, NASA, Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems, AMD, Intel, and more making use of Second Life. There's even a couple of government agencies there, I think one is the Center for Disease Control.