Creating Mac OS X virus will have to be its own reward

Tech Culture

A controversial Mac accessory seller has pulled his offer of a $25,000 reward for creating a Mac OS X virus.

Jack Campbell, CEO of DVForge, said on his company's Web site that he wanted to do the contest as a way of proving that Mac OS X is not vulnerable to attack, as Symantec recently claimed. However, he said he pulled the bounty after an outcry from Mac users.

"During the first several hours after making the public announcement, I was contacted by a large number of Mac users and Mac software professionals who shared their thinking with me about the contest," Campbell said in a posting on DVForge's Web site. "I have been convinced that the risk of a virus on the OS X platform is not zero, although it is remarkably close to zero. More importantly, I have been convinced that there may be legality issues stemming from such a contest, beyond those determined by our own legal counsel, prior to announcing the contest."

Macintouch, which has a chronicle of user comments on past dealings with Campbell, updated its site with a lively set of postings on the virus issue.

"It's hard to tell whether Jack Campbell is trying to help or hurt the Mac community with this stunt," wrote one poster to Macintouch. "The sloppy challenge he puts forth will simply yield bad data that can be misused to support any number of conclusions."

For his part, Campbell, said he just wanted quiet those who claim the Mac is vulnerable to viruses.

"I still think it's time for this matter to be resolved, once and for all," he said in a follow-up posting on his site. " I want to see the threatend (sic) bullet. Fire it. Actually hit the target. Either that, or shut up with the threats and the innuendo, and finally admit that OS X is inherently, fundamentally, a couple of orders of magnitude more immune to outside security breaches than is Windows."

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