Mac's Get Viruses Too!!

This is another post off of The How To Geek that I beilive should be shared with everyone…

“We’ve all seen the Mac vs PC ads mocking us, claiming that Macs never get viruses. If that were true, there wouldn’t be a botnet of infected Macs completely controlled by unknown hackers.

Sick Mac Computer

Botnet? Infected Macs? What?

Security researchers at Symantec recently discovered a group of thousands of Mac OS X computers infected with a trojan horse application embedded in pirated copies of iWork 09.

The infected users had installed the software without scanning it for viruses, no doubt in part because of Apple’s commercials implying that Mac users don’t need to worry about security.

Once the hacker managed to get his malware installed on these zombie Mac computers, the entire group was fully under his control – and he began to use them to attack web sites, but they could be used for other, more nefarious purposes: like sending spam!

Wait, a Mac can get a virus?

That’s exactly right: no operating system is immune to viruses, worms, trojans, or even spyware. To be fair, the vast majority of all malware targets Windows users, especially unpatched and horribly insecure Windows XP machines – but that doesn’t mean other platforms can’t or won’t get viruses, especially as Apple gains market share and attracts the notice of the hackers.

My problem with this whole story is that Mac users should be educated – you simply cannot download software from BitTorrent and start using it without doing a virus scan first, and Apple should stop mocking security in their commercials.

But this Hack Required User Intervention, it’s Not Apple’s Fault!

That’s quite true! This problem was caused by users downloading software illegally, entering their admin password, and installing it by choice. Hardly Apple’s fault.

But… this is part of a broader issue: Lying about security features will not keep the hackers away! Apple needs to take security more seriously, or else they will run into the same problem that Microsoft did with Windows XP: massive virus/worm infections across the board, and millions of zombie computers sending us spam.

Case in point: last month, a couple of hackers were able to crack a fully patched MacBook in a few seconds, requiring nothing more than clicking on a link using the built-in Safari web browser. If Mac users are conditioned into thinking that they don’t need to worry about security, these types of attacks could escalate in the future.

Perhaps it’s time to recommend security software to Mac users?”

[How To Geek]

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