Apple Tells Tech Support Not to Help Malware Victims

Brad Chacos

Mac users like to flaunt their supposed security in the face of PC enthusiasts all the time. "Spyware? Viruses?" they ask, usually while gently sipping tea with one pinky raised. "Oh, no. Macs don't get those." Given the snootiness, we can help but smile when we imagine them sputtering and spitting out said tea in the wake of the Mac Defender malware that began making the rounds earlier this month. Today, ZDNet reported that Apple explicitly told its support techs not to help users remove the infection. Where's your Steve Jobs worship now?

Ed Bott cites multiple anonymous sources who work for AppleCare and third-party call centers. Apparently, somewhere between 25% and 50% of the all calls to Apple's support line the past few weeks have come from concerned Apple users whose Mac Defender-ridden Macs have been popping up adult websites. Bott estimates that between 60,000 and 125,000 Macs may have been infected.

Apple's response? Nothing, officially. But the article's sources say that Apple has instructed its support staff to point callers towards a couple of antivirus programs "from anywhere" and avoid helping them in any other way. They can't even point callers to forums that discuss removing Mac Defender – even Apple's own forums.

Sure, Apple's position is ridiculous, but so is the fact that Mac Defender's causing so much havoc in the first place. Users basically have to invite the low-risk application onto their system. Maybe some more time on a PC would get Mac users more familiar with the real Internet?

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