May 052011

Macs Are Not Immune to Malware

I just found more facts about serious dangers for Macs supporting the paragraph from my secure browsing post:

I was just browsing at Best Buy store the other day when a young and enthusiastic sales assistant came out of nowhere and tried to persuade me to buy a Mac laptop, using the common misconception that Apple computers need no virus protection as one of their advantages. Well, I like Macs and with more money in my wallet my home would have had one Apple laptop long time ago, but this certainly is a wrong way to persuade me to buy one. I’ve got news for you. Macs are not more secure. Their owners are just lucky because most hackers focus on Windows due to its huge market share, but Apple desktops are now getting into corporate environments at Google and other companies and it is just a matter of time when there will be more malware attacks on Macs. There are antivirus programs for Apple machines, so if you are a Mac user, get some protection before something nasty spreads to your Mac.

New Threats for Apple Systems

Today I encountered several articles about Mac Malware which give a lot more weight to my story above, and it seems like it is going to get much worse soon, especially for those who are not protected. The first and less dangerous threat is called Mac Defender and it’s a fake antivirus program which reminds me of the recent LizaMoon scareware on Windows, because it first simulates infection in a browser window and then tries to fool the user into buying their “tool” to eliminate it. Don’t trust fake popup browser window alerts that tell you you have a virus. You should trust alerts like this only if they are coming from your antivirus software if you have one. Whenever you get such an alert, always check its source and if you don’t already have one, go get a real antivirus software from a reputable source. Until I buy or someone donates a recent Mac to me I can’t go in depth with these recommendations, but I know from work that McAfee has antivirus for Macs and Intego from the link above also seems to have a solution.

Serious Threats on The Horizon

The second article, Crimekit for MacOSX launched from CSIS security group, describes a new crime software lab and the situation with Mac threats can soon become very serious. Hackers can now buy this do-it-yourself kit from other hackers on the black market to create their own Mac malware. According to the article, the main target is Firefox Internet browser on Macs, but they may soon have modules for both Safari and Chrome, and similar home crime tools for iPad and Linux as well. Similar kits for Windows malware have existed for ages, but this is the first such kit targeting Apple systems and the results may soon be scary. Just as I kept repeating to my friends and coworkers, Apple systems are the next big malware target with easy profit due to lack of antivirus protection. If you add all the iPhones and iPads to the list (most get connected to a computer so a possible exploit can use them to spread to both Apple and Windows systems) the user population is huge and so the number of attacks and exploits will grow. Protect yourself, install security updates and antivirus software, or brace for impact.

  3 Responses to “Are There Any Mac Viruses?”

  1. […] Read more details about both these threats at […]

  2. I must disagree. Macs are more secure. But you are right hat they are not so attactive for malware developers. And that is the reason why they are safer if to be compared with Windows

    • At least we agree that they had less malware due to the lower market share, but now that it keeps growing both in the consumer and corporate world the question is whether anybody wants to risk not having antivirus on a Mac just because “they are secure”.  When (and not if) the next big Mac malware starts spreading, you want to be protected.

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