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Mac Users No Longer Safe from Malwares
Category : General 25 Nov 2010 02:13 AM | Industry News
According to Grahan Cluley of Sophos, “We currently have a stonking 150,000 active users of our free Mac anti-virus product, downloading updates from our servers. Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition was launched on November 2nd, and proved instantly popular. At its peak we were seeing one download almost every second (to be precise, 3032 an hour at the craziest point!). It’s also made the list of top products downloaded on the Apple site, and is listed as the most popular download in their Networking & Security section.
According to Sophos’ data, the most prominent bit of malware to be found on Macs actually won’t even work on them: Mal/ASDFDLdr-A refers to malware that uses Windows Media Player’s scripting ability to force your web browser to visit an unscrupulous website.
Cross-platform Java-based attacks are the biggest overall threat… which may go a long way to explain why Apple recently deprecated in-house Java development and passed things back over to Oracle: since they were always a security release behind Oracle’s own product, Java seems to be the biggest security headache for Mac users overall.
It’s interesting to note that of all the threats recorded by Sophos, only two are really Mac specific, and account for less than 1% each of all malware reports.
The old paradigm of a hacker creating a worm for notoriety and peer respect has morphed into a new paradigm of "hacking for profit," he told MacNewsWorld. "If there is money in it, it will be hacked."
That explains in part why the recent Mac OS X vulnerability was not a surprise to the security industry, Carpenter added. "Mac OS X has started to gain a larger market share of the desktop market, and this made Mac OS X a larger target."
The rise in Mac threats and the "OSX/Leap.A" virus are important illustrations of why security needs to be a greater focus for Mac users, he continued. "The OSX/Leap.A virus may be classified as low-risk but, because it can release confidential information, is spread via a typical e-mail and can propagate itself through instant messenger applications, is inherently threatening to unprotected networks."