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  • Mac OS X, iOS at Increased Risk in 2011: Report


    Mac OS X will come under more frequent attack in 2011, according to a prominent security firm. In its 2011 Threat Predictions report, McAfee Labs says that newly popular platforms like Android, iOS and Mac OS X will be targeted by malicious code more than ever before.

    Though ardent Mac OS X supporters (aka fanbois) often tout the platform's history of fewer destructive viruses along with its UNIX roots as signs of its inherent superiority an the area of security, security researchers have found many vulnerabilities in the operating system. In May, the security firm Secunia put Apple at the top of its list of software developers with the most vulnerabilities, ahead of Oracle and Microsoft. And at this year's Pwn2Own, Charlie Miller, an analyst at Baltimore-based Independent Security Evaluators, defeated the security on a MacBook Pro in seconds.

    Mac OS X's main protection has been its relative obscurity when compared to Windows. However, that may now be in jeopardy, ironically as a result of Apple's success with computers: from about 2% usage in 2000, Mac OS X has shot up to over 6% and is poised for further growth. "Historically, the Mac OS platform has remained relatively unscathed by malicious attackers," the McAfee report notes, but predicts that "Mac-targeted malware will continue to increase in sophistication in 2011."

    In addition, the report says, iOS will also be at greater risk in the year to come. "The popularity of iPads and iPhones in business environments, combined with the lack of user understanding of proper security for these devices," will increase the danger. Furthermore, McAfee Labs foresees that "Apple botnets and Trojans" will be "a common occurrence. "

    Source: Computerworld
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Mac OS X, iOS at Increased Risk in 2011: Report started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Only a matter of time. More users makes for a bigger target.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Only a matter of time. More users makes for a bigger target.
      Well put.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      iOS must be a very tempting target.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Its been hit before just not in the us
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Yea well its going to get more common
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Definitely increased amount of attacks, but its the successful attacks we should be worried about. I dont agree with McAfee that "Apple botnets and Trojans will be a common occurrence." They're more than likely just trying to scare people into buying their security software.
      I'll stick with the free and regularly updated ClamXav and run a scan every few months.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      No one really knows if this will be any 'real' issue, but one thing is guaranteed ... Apple (and the rest of the money-grapping corps's) will use any news to justify keeping their iDevices under their total control.
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      I'm attacking iOS right now with a MyWi attack , then later on might hit it with a 3Gunrestrictor facetime attack
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      ^Haha. Using that logic I attack iOS every day
    1. NSXrebel's Avatar
      NSXrebel -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Definitely increased amount of attacks, but its the successful attacks we should be worried about. I dont agree with McAfee that "Apple botnets and Trojans will be a common occurrence." They're more than likely just trying to scare people into buying their security software.
      I'll stick with the free and regularly updated ClamXav and run a scan every few months.
      word.

      Mac OSX, and any OS/software for that matter, are not malware proof, but fact is that it's much safer than Windows. Not because of obscurity, but just the UNIX it's based on is much more secure.

      People tend to forget or don't even know that before OSX, Mac OS 9, 8, 7 etc.. were just as vulnerable to malware as Windows is/was. There were plenty of viruses going around for those older Mac operating systems.

      Regardless of what OS you use, you should still use safe practices on the internet.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NSXrebel View Post
      Regardless of what OS you use, you should still use safe practices on the internet.
      Very True.
      Even a Windows PC with zero security software isn't gonna get viruses or malware on its own. I'd be fairly confident I could use an "unsecure" PC no bother without it getting a virus.
    1. jdm.accord's Avatar
      jdm.accord -
      This "report" might actually carry some weight if it was from an independent analyst or research firm. As it stands, its a business ploy and not worthy of a second thought IMO.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      I don't know (I'm no where near an expert), but I think Windows might be more well prepared than OS X (on paper) for attacks since it's had more of them and built a stronger "immune system". Of course, I'm not sure how exploits work, and Macs may really have some one-key protection that Microsoft hasn't figured out yet.
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Personally I think that the big anti-virus software firms are behind most of the malicious code. I cannot stand them They slow down the PC and cause their own havoc. One of the main reasons I switched to MAC.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      One question, where is their proof? They're just randomly saying this
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      One question, where is their proof? They're just randomly saying this
      Lol so true.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Does this mean I need to start using protection?..
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      One question, where is their proof? They're just randomly saying this
      Agree!
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      I'm attacking iOS right now with a MyWi attack , then later on might hit it with a 3Gunrestrictor facetime attack
      LOL! That's hilarious!!!
    1. blueblaze4444's Avatar
      blueblaze4444 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mes View Post
      No one really knows if this will be any 'real' issue, but one thing is guaranteed ... Apple (and the rest of the money-grapping corps's) will use any news to justify keeping their iDevices under their total control.
      I agree, as soon as even 1 virus pops up Apple is going to have another update, and another, and another, and another. One great thing about Mac OS X: easy updating

      If you're on iOS then it might not be so great for jailbreakers. 1) because you're going to be more vulnerable to attacks anyways 2) if you want to be safer then you'd have to upgrade...meaning jailbreak confusion everywhere ;(

      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      One question, where is their proof? They're just randomly saying this
      Agreed here too, you can't predict exactly what malware inventors are going to be doing, that's their own decision.