You have just received a brand new beautiful iMac and have finally powered it up to explore the great Internet. You are so excited that you got the most secure OS on the market today. You browse the web and click on a series of web pages when all of the sudden, a popup appears with a series of links to get an unreleased Apple update. You click the link and a series of commands run on your computer and just like that you have received the first virus on the Mac OS X.
Just last week, a Southern Cal. researcher reported 7 new vulnerabilities. He even warned Apple of these vulnerabilities and the company took this information and has yet to patch the holes. These holes will be fixed in the next update of Mac OS X but if this was a Microsoft flaw, everyone on the Internet would have eaten their lunch. Microsoft turns flaws like this around very quickly. I am surprised that Apple has let this go for so long.
Here are some other interesting tidbits of information quoted from this article:
“The SANS Institute, a computer-security organization in Bethesda, Md., added Mac OS X to its 2005 list of the top-20 Internet vulnerabilities. It was the first time the Mac has been included since the experts started compiling the list in 2000.
— This week, SANS updated the list to warn against flaws in Safari, the Mac Web browser, which the group said criminals were able to attack before Apple could fix it.
— The number of discovered Mac vulnerabilities has soared in recent years, with 81 found last year, up from 46 in 2004 and 27 in 2003, according to the Open Source Vulnerability Database, which is maintained by a nonprofit group that tracks security vulnerabilities on many different hardware and software platforms.
— Less than a week after Daines was attacked in mid-February, a 25-year-old computer security researcher released three benign Mac-based worms to prove a serious vulnerability in Mac OS X could be exploited. Apple asked the man, Kevin Finisterre, to hold off publishing the code until it could patch the flaw.”
Welcome to the big league Apple. I predict we are going to see more and more viruses for the MAC as they increase in popularity among users and hackers. Vendors can boast on how secure their operating systems are but until they are under constant attack, no one really knows.
Do you feel that that times are changing and the MAC is becoming a growing target for hackers?