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  • Mac Attacks Elevate In 2011; Still Well Below Windows


    According to a post by F-Secure Labs, the number of Mac-based security threads jumped in 2011 but still remain far below that of Windows PCs. A total of 58 unique variants were detected from April through December according to the Labsí Threat Research Team.

    Of the 57, nearly half (29 to be specific) were Trojan downloaders, which F-Secure defines as a type of Trojan horse program that secretly downloads a slew of malicious files from a remote server, then installs and executives them.

    The company didnít compare directly the 2011 results with the Macís 2010 threat numbers, or with Windowsí comparable numbers, except to show that there had been an increase in the number of threads for the Mac in 2011. The company didnít reveal additional data either but their recent blog post did link to the full Excel file spreadsheet on the emerging Mac threats.

    The second most common threat category, with 15 detected issues, were backdoors, or remote administration utilities that are designed to slip past security mechanisms to secretly control a program, computer, or even a network. Of the remaining detected viruses were seven Trojans were described by F-Secure to be non-replicating, deceptive programs that perform additional actions without the userís knowledge or permission. The other seven were rogues or antivirus program software that uses false or deceptive tactics to pressure users into installing the code, which once loaded, would not work as claimed.

    The research found by the company shows what appears to be a bit of a roller-coaster threat cycle for Macs last year. Threats continue to rise then fell, peaking in June and again in October.

    Have any of you had any virus related issues with your Macs? Share any thoughts and/or experiences below!

    Source: F-Secure
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Mac Attacks Elevate In 2011; Still Well Below Windows started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      None, smart browsing or downloading on any OS lowers your risk drastically.
    1. mofolo's Avatar
      mofolo -
      What the hell happened in August? Cyber Criminal Strike?
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      None, smart browsing or downloading on any OS lowers your risk drastically.
      I browse pretty smart and have been working with computers for a very long time, now I do it for a living as a server admin. I was on a site I go to normally which is legit (thechive.com), when a "UAC" pop-up came up from flash. I clicked 'no' and it just kept trying... whatever it was got right past security essentials and disabled it. Luckily however I had UAC enable so the damage was mostly limited to my one profile and I also do weekly automated backups. Just to be sure I restored but it pretty surprising how crafty virus can get.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Didn't say it took the risk away completly just lowers it drastically. Sometimes trusted sites get comprimised so you are never fully safe. I remember a very, very long time ago someone used a VB exploit here to attack you. But even then I got warnings that something was going on and I was actually able to track it down to a specific post and kept reporting them so the admins knew. (long before I was mod)
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      Didn't say it took the risk away completly just lowers it drastically. Sometimes trusted sites get comprimised so you are never fully safe. I remember a very, very long time ago someone used a VB exploit here to attack you. But even then I got warnings that something was going on and I was actually able to track it down to a specific post and kept reporting them so the admins knew. (long before I was mod)
      Agreed.
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      None, smart browsing or downloading on any OS lowers your risk drastically.
      Couldn't have said it better. I have a Sony vaio from 1998 with RDram that's still running like brand new - never had an antivirus prgm installed on it.

      Of course, I still prefer my Mac...
    1. the87th's Avatar
      the87th -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      None, smart browsing or downloading on any OS lowers your risk drastically.
      Agreed. Having ads disabled (using adblock+ or similar) also reduces your risk, especially if there are other users of your computer who might be fooled by scam ads.
    1. funstuff234's Avatar
      funstuff234 -
      How not to get a virus:

      -Don't use IE
      -Keep Flash updated

      Simple as that no matter what OS you're on. This is assuming your not retarded and download and open stuff that's obviously not legit. Antivirus is just an overpriced piece of crap that companies use to make money.
    1. A3gOwner's Avatar
      A3gOwner -
      Quote Originally Posted by funstuff234 View Post
      How not to get a virus:

      -Don't use IE
      -Keep Flash updated

      Simple as that no matter what OS you're on. This is assuming your not retarded and download and open stuff that's obviously not legit. Antivirus is just an overpriced piece of crap that companies use to make money.
      Wow you have no idea like most people. It's more than just IE and flash it goes way deeper than that. I have no windows machines and run anti virus on both osx and Linux to keep from passing on infections. If you use a Mac/unix/Linux with there permission structure as long as you don't blindly enter your administrator password whenever it asks and especially when on net you'll be a lot safer. As for windows keep everything up to date, know what's going on especially when UAC pops up. Actually read those and if it doesn't involve something related to what your doing DENY it also keep you AV definitions updated daily.
    1. Jastra's Avatar
      Jastra -
      As mac users continue to increase I'm sure the viruses will increase as well.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jastra View Post
      As mac users continue to increase I'm sure the viruses will increase as well.
      Not fully true. Has a small part of it but market share is not the main excuse. OS9 at one point had smaller market share than OSX and it was riddled with viruses and trojans.

      The amount of "unprotected" Macs should actually be a bigger target to grab than the market share because a large portion of Mac users don't run anything beyond Apple's standard protection.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Lol "Mac attacks."
    1. duromega's Avatar
      duromega -
      None, I practice smart browsing I don't use antivirus since 1999, I've been fooled with adware or spyware but only like 2 times
    1. Venom1234's Avatar
      Venom1234 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Norb View Post
      I browse pretty smart and have been working with computers for a very long time, now I do it for a living as a server admin. I was on a site I go to normally which is legit (thechive.com), when a "UAC" pop-up came up from flash. I clicked 'no' and it just kept trying... whatever it was got right past security essentials and disabled it. Luckily however I had UAC enable so the damage was mostly limited to my one profile and I also do weekly automated backups. Just to be sure I restored but it pretty surprising how crafty virus can get.
      That's your problem you were using ****** security essentials. Any smart IT person would know to not use that garbage.
    1. Cellular's Avatar
      Cellular -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Lol "Mac attacks."
      I lol'd too I was thinking
      Eh...windows had it first.
      But since most non-tech Mac users claim they don't need anti-virus they are the most vulnerable.
      And hackers want to affect the majority not the minority , although they don't mind attacking people who have money they can steal hence "the average Mac user"
    1. LongN3ck's Avatar
      LongN3ck -
      terrible graph. update the y-axis with what its depicting. Is this overall # of attacks or just ones that were tested by F-secure etc.? Is it millions of attacks? I have no idea what to think of this.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cellular View Post
      I lol'd too I was thinking
      Eh...windows had it first.
      But since most non-tech Mac users claim they don't need anti-virus they are the most vulnerable.
      And hackers want to affect the majority not the minority , although they don't mind attacking people who have money they can steal hence "the average Mac user"
      I thought it just sounded funny
    1. Breezer23's Avatar
      Breezer23 -
      Well no sh*t it's well below Windows. The user base is exponentially higher. As market share continues to climb for OSX the amount of viruses will as well. Why attack such a small user base when you can attack something substantially higher? The whole point is to cause chaos anyway. There were a few reports last year that reported OSX to be the most vulnerable by far.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Breezer23 View Post
      Well no sh*t it's well below Windows. The user base is exponentially higher. As market share continues to climb for OSX the amount of viruses will as well. Why attack such a small user base when you can attack something substantially higher? The whole point is to cause chaos anyway. There were a few reports last year that reported OSX to be the most vulnerable by far.
      Read what I said ealier. The second part has play in what your second part is talking about too.

      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      Not fully true. Has a small part of it but market share is not the main excuse. OS9 at one point had smaller market share than OSX and it was riddled with viruses and trojans.

      The amount of "unprotected" Macs should actually be a bigger target to grab than the market share because a large portion of Mac users don't run anything beyond Apple's standard protection.