Apple users befuddled by malware -

Dedicated followers of Apple are facing a religious crisis after a sudden spike in malware on the fruity machines.

For years, Apple followers have insisted that they don't need anti-virus or malware protection because their machine's software was too superior. The power of Steve Jobs protected them from malware, which was only something Microsoft users got.

Suddenly, it appears Apple bulletin boards are starting to get reports of malware infecting their computers. It seems that after years of ignoring Apple machines, malware writers have decided that they are a soft target and written some code that exploit the Mac's many security holes.

It is causing a real crisis of faith. Some Apple users think that the malware must be an official update.

Other Apple followers attack victims and call them stupid for downloading such things.

Then they go through the usual rubbish about it not being a virus, or a worm, it is a trojan, they are different. Only Windows users get viruses or worms.

Ed Bott, over at ZDNet, interviewed an AppleCare rep who confirmed that malware was getting worse and got into a lot of hot water with fanboys who claimed he had made the interview up.

So he spent hours going through discussions.apple.com and collecting requests for help from Mac users who had been affected by malware.

He found more than 200 separate discussion threads, many of them from people who have been tricked into installing this software and are desperately trying to remove it. In April there were only four such threads, but over the weekend there were 42 new ones. Before April there were only two in total.

One of the more popular attacks appears to be something called macprotector which manages to install itself.

It reports trojans and then opens shedloads of porn pop-ups. Some Apple users are so convinced that it is not malware they have been trying to download updates for it.

Bott said that he had been called out many times by Apple followers when he pointed out holes in Apple's security. Security writers have been saying for years that Apple has been vulnerable but no serious attacks have ever come.  

This, to a devout user, confirms that their belief in Steve Jobs is enough. To a security writer it means a hacker can't be bothered learning a different operating system to hack a Coldplay collection on iTunes.  

Now it looks like that has changed and the unsinkable operating system has struck its first iceburg.