Apple: Keep Customers Ignorant On Malware

Leaked internal documents appear to show that Apple is specifically telling employees to deny the existence of a trojan. Macs have traditionally enjoyed very little malware cases thanks to its competition Windows taking most of the heat. In fact, part of their marketing program was even based on this with the claim that “Macs don’t get viruses”.

However, in recent weeks, there has been a sharp increase in malware-related issues for Macintosh as reported by Ars Technica:

“There’s been a very real uptick in the number of malware instances we’ve seen,” Andy, said, adding that in the past, 0.2 percent of the Macs brought into Andy’s store might have a malware problem—”most always DNS trojans.”

That has changed in the last three weeks. Nowadays, something like 5.8 percent of machines Andy’s store sees have a malware-related issue, almost entirely made up of MAC Defender or some variant.

While new trojans come out all the time in the computing world, it’s the way Apple is handling the situation that has made this frustrated employee speak out. According to him, Apple sent around an internal memo to all Apple Store Geniuses telling them the following:

Apple Internal Use Only – Issue/Investigation in Progress – Confidential Information – Do Not Disclose Externally


Customers may call AppleCare to report and issue with malware (trojan) software known as Mac Defender or Mac Security, or because they are concerned that their Mac could become infected. The name may vary as new variants are released onto the internet. This malware is installed from malicious websites.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.4

It then gave a list of explicit instructions concerning the trojan:


  • Do not confirm or deny that any such software has been installed.
  • Do not attempt to remove or uninstall any malware software.
  • Do not send escalations or contact Tier 2 for support about removing the software or provide impact data.
  • Do not refer customers to the Apple Retail Store. The ARS does not provide any additional support for malware.

Unfortunately, Apple currently doesn’t offer any sort of malware protection software a the moment, and given Apple’s catering to customers that aren’t exactly the most technically gifted, this is bound to not end well.

Ars Technica