I happen to have the ‘good fortune’ of having more than one Apple Fanboy amidst my network of associates and they are all downplaying the latest round of Flashback-based malware infections on the Mac as being ‘unusual’ and ‘nothing to worry about’ and they still insist that installing anti-malware software is pointless. Same thing they have been telling me for just about a decade.
Contrary to what the Fanboys say, Mac OS X has been hit with viruses and worms in the past. Flashback is not the first. Malware specifically targeting the Mac OS X platform starting appearing as early as 2004. Apple computers have never been ‘immune’ to malware and spyware, contrary to Apple’s advertising, and Apple computers have been part of the earliest history of virus development, beginning with Elk Cloner which predates the first PC virus “Brain” by about 4 years. Yes, owners of Apple products had to worry about viruses four years before PC users did…
Here’s the a small sample of the kinds of malware targeting Apple computers that I could dig up in a quiet evening at home from the web. This list of Apple Malware is far from complete:
I’m paranoid about the web, and with good reason.
The #1 way hackers get into computers today is through your web browser from an infected website. The battle for control of your computer has spread from e-mail and attachments. Another battlefront has opened up on your web browser. A large number of big-name sites have been hacked recently and nobody is completely sure just what the hackers made off with. Hackers use DNS spoofing to trick computers into coming to an infected website, so you can’t completely be sure that you ended up on the website you intended to visit. They also buy up common misspellings of big sites to catch anyone that makes a typo.
Of course, whenever someone starts talking about a really secure platform, the Mac fanboys jump right in to tell me how secure Apple MacOS is–never mind that the MacOS/Safari combo gets hacked every year (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,2011) during PWN2OWN at CANSECWEST. Never mind that the hackers have now developed a crimeware kit for the Mac, which means Mac users will need to be on the lookout for a deluge of malware from now on.
With so much dangerous malware and so many threats, how do I stay secure online?
Thought your Mac was secure? Did you know it is possible to turn the battery into a dead brick, or worse, possibly make it overcharge? How about permanently infect your computer (at least until the battery is replaced)?