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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?


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.