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What Apple and Every Apple Support Professional Must Do

The Flashback attack is a sign of more to come.  Are you prepared to see your Apple computer (or those you support) as functional UNIX devices that require special skills?


UPDATE YOUR APPLE COMPUTERS NOW!

What?  You use an OS X Panther or earlier system to cruise the Internet?  This is your first lesson:  Old and unsupported versions of Mac OS X won't be secure.  Apple software, like all other software, has security problems.  Yes, you can isolate attractive data from some malware, but that shifts their attack from active access to store-and-forward.  Yes, you can rebuild the OS from time-to-time and remove attacks, but those attacks are likely to return with surprising rapidity.

You need an excuse to buy a new computer.  This is it.

What was also a new epiphany for many Apple purists were the Flashback removal instructions.  These asked us to navigate and use the UNIX command line.  This is a shock and a new thing to many, including support staff.  The Apple Graphical Shell is brilliant.  It makes most operations easy.  It abstracts the gnarly UNIX underpinnings into a pretty picture; at times, a pretty deceptive picture.

As the hackers strike us where it matters most, in the gritty sub-GShell of activity, we support staff must come to master UNIX itself.

So put away your checkboxes and mice and dialog boxes; begin a journey into UNIX itself.  Buy a Teach Yourself UNIX or UNIX Unleashed title.  Dig into Linux a bit more.  Learn to Love the Command Prompt.  If you like, I can post some recommended InformIT resources; let me know below.

No, this isn't the end of the world for you; in fact, it's the beginning of a new and better one.  Mastering the command line will allow you to speed-tune any Mac OS X system you manage.  Let me know how it works out for you.

jt

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