Those tech support representatives told Bott, and provided documents, that said Apple had told them not to help Mac users who had been duped into downloading and installing MacDefender.
Both Intego and U.K.-based Sophos have used the information Bott has published and his estimates of the number of Macs infected to also take Apple to task.
"Apple's famous PR savvy apparently doesn't apply to handling security incidents," Chet Wisniewski, a Sophos security researcher, said in a post on his company's blog on Tuesday. "It is genuinely tragic that such a large number of OS X users are falling victim to this scam, and Apple's response is less than helpful."
Intego sells Mac-specific security software, and Sophos offers a free Mac antivirus program.
"What this shows is that nobody is safe," Storms said. "The truth is that the vast majority of malware isn't on the Mac, it's not on the iPhone, it's specifically on Windows."
"I say that's because of Windows market share, but Mac users have long claimed that it's because Mac OS is more secure, or Mac users are more intelligent and don't fall for these ruses," he said. "Well, guess what, this proves the point that it doesn't matter what OS you're using. In the end, it all depends on the user to understand what's malware and what's not."
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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