Media reporting on the Mac has become more terroristic and threatening than news worthy. What’s the latest?
Your Mac can get hacked in 30-minutes; provided you give the hacker your login ID and password. Oh, you didn’t read that in the news article?
Apple gets more than a 4-percent share market share of positive press; more than market share of bad press, too. By “bad” I mean awful reporting. Really.
By “really bad” I mean junior high school students would be more accurate reporters on Mac OS X security issues than AP, ZDnet, and other mainstream media.
Last week there were hysterical media virus alerts for viruses that didn’t exist (and still don’t exist). Yesterday’s news headline had Mac OS X, arguably as secure as a mainstream desktop could be, hacked in 30 minutes.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics. 30-minutes? I read the headlines and the articles in disbelief. What happened? Did the Mac mini owner give out login ID’s and passwords? That would be stupid.
Stupidity reigns supreme, even in media reporting. That’s exactly what happened in the so-called security test conducted in Sweden and reported to ZDnet by an anonymous hacker.
The headlines were all the same. Mac OS X hacked in less than 30-minutes. The fine print simply didn’t exist. What would the fine print say?
The so-called security test gave users an account on an open Mac mini set up as a server (a Mac mini becomes a “server” when you plug it in, turn it on, and connect it to the internet).
With an account, this brilliant, ill-named, anonymous “hacker” escalated his account to root and defaced a test web page. How did that happen? He wouldn’t say, and that’s probably the most important fact of all.
Could such an even really happen? Yes. Give me an account on your Mac mini with a few hundred other users, leave the SSH port open, let me log in, and I can guess a few passwords and potentially escalate my account to root (why was “root” even turned on?).
Does that mean I hacked your Mac? No. It does mean the ZDnet article’s headline (spread all over mainstream media) was wrong. It wasn’t a hack, a true “hacker,” and it wasn’t a valid test. It was bad reporting.
This “hack” was an example of media terrorism designed to exploit weaknesses in the knowledge base of headline readers, inflame readers, incite the Mac community (which usually knows better than to pay attention to stupid “tests”).
The ZDnet article was another explosive load of media terrorism designed to exploit sensitivities in unsuspecting readers.
It works. Why? Because most people don’t read the fine print, don’t dig deeper for the facts, and in this case, the ZDnet writer literally hid the facts (or, is so inept a journalist, as to not understand why facts are important in a news story).
Worse, it could easily have been a case of the ZDnet writer and editor conspiring to create a story where non existed; purely to plant a terrorist “bomb” knowing that the story would get picked up and spread like wildfire as a truly hot headline.
Back in January, this same writer published an article about supposed “ancient flaws” in Mac OS X which Apple refuses to fix.
”Refuses” implies motive, for which most ZDnet writers are suspect anyway, and certainly not privileged to Apple’s motives.
What’s going on? How difficult is it for writers of mainstream media outlets to get it right? The answer? It’s not difficult. They don’t want to. Why? Because the headlines are the story.
Years ago, such items would never have made it as news on broadcast outlets, and when relegated to magazines, there were “fact checkers” who examined the articles weeks or months before publication, scouring them for accuracy.
Such crapola from ZDnet writers and others would never have seen the light of day, trashed quickly for the trashy reporting they are.
Today, we live in different times, where everything runs at the speed of light on the internet, media urgency and time to get a headline above someone else’s headliine are of more importance to editors than facts.
In fact, forget the facts. ZDnet and other mainstream news outlets that cover technology appear to be nothing more than news terrorists; dropping bombs of inaccurate reporting that carry a payload of fact destruction, which stirs the emotions of the reading populace, garner more hits to a web site, more page impressions, more ad impressions, but don’t report the news.
Of the mainstream media outlets that reported on the Mac OS X “viruses” and “worms” which appeared over the past few weeks, which one retracted their story and called it what it was—a poorly constructed Trojan Horse?
Fact checkers in the media? They’ve obviously been dismissed and discarded by mainstream news outlets. Fortunately, some have taken refuge in the hundreds of smaller publications which have taken root on the internet, and are willing to expose their erroneous reporting, poor judgement, and questionable tactics.
The only hack in this case was the author of the article or the editor who approved it for publication.