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MacBytes
Oct 21, 2006, 12:30 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Mac OS X
Link: Mac attacks rare but rising (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061021133042)
Description:: Apple computers have long been prized for being relatively virus-free. But as more people use Apple products, experts say the company is increasingly becoming a target for cyber pranksters and criminals writing viruses and other forms of malware.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

telecomm
Oct 21, 2006, 12:45 PM
Wow, that's cutting-edge news. :rolleyes:

bartelby
Oct 21, 2006, 12:50 PM
You mean as Apple machines become more popular there's more risk of nasty stuff!?:eek:

I'd never have thought that:rolleyes:

TomSmithMacEd
Oct 21, 2006, 01:57 PM
Ha, no the article was more like

"Apple's have more chance of a security risk becuase a virus was put on a very small number of iPods that only effects Windows."

FF_productions
Oct 21, 2006, 02:14 PM
I'll be dead by the time they write a virus for OSX.

mmmcheese
Oct 21, 2006, 02:22 PM
I'll be dead by the time they write a virus for OSX.

If you're not, can we watch your suicide on youtube?

bousozoku
Oct 21, 2006, 03:10 PM
...
Friedrichs said of the 13,000 virus threats Symantec sends out a month, maybe a dozen are related to the Mac, with the majority intended for Microsoft's Windows platform.

One reason Apple has so far been shielded from nasty code is because its market share is relatively small.

Apple accounted for 3.3 percent of total U.S. computer sales in 2004, and for 4.3 percent in 2005, according to technology research firm International Data Corporation.
...


Where are Symantec finding all these virus threats and are they successful? They must be coming from FUD City. Oh wait, it says that they're sending the threats, not solutions to the threats.

Good to see that the "article" was up to date on the sales because apparently a lot of people are still living a year or so back.

Mac-Addict
Oct 21, 2006, 04:18 PM
I'll be dead by the time they write a virus for OSX.
Ohh :( That will bring a downer on the party we will hold when you die :(
Joke :p I swear this is old news..

nagromme
Oct 21, 2006, 06:46 PM
The article does say OS X is more secure by design, not just obscurity... but only if you read pretty far through lots of misstatements and hints that Macs have successful viruses already.

What most people will take away is what they already want to think: there's no need to reconsider Windows, because Macs will very soon have just as many problems as PCs.

Which in fact, there's no chance of :)

Gotta love FUD like this:

"But they do believe viruses targeting Apple's Macintosh personal computers are increasing."

From zero to zero... increasing?

"Microsoft says virus-creators are starting to train their sights on other platforms."

Thanks. We'll be sure to keep buying from you, then.

jhu
Oct 21, 2006, 08:56 PM
Experts say these low numbers, and the unlikelihood that Apple's share will ever account for much higher than the low double digits, is one reason why the Mac will remain relatively safe. These days, they say, viruses are written more for money than fame.

Taking over a Windows-based computer and using it to send millions of pieces of spam, often with advertising or scams attached, to other Window's machines can generate big money . Writing a Mac-based virus, which could only target other Macs, isn't nearly as profitable.

if mac os x and windows switched market positions, it's guaranteed that malware will be targeted towards mac os x. would such attempts be successful? of course, because the "stupid windows masses" would now exist as the "stupid mac os x masses." anyone who denies that is delusional.

Hoopes said Mac OS X is based on the UNIX operating system, which was developed by Bell Labs in the 1960's and at the University of California, Berkeley, through the 1970s. Variants of Unix power most of the servers on the Internet and the system has a reputation for security.

cnn isn't exactly a tech site. being unix-based does not necessarily entail increased security. take, for example, the unixes used from the 1980s through the mid-1990s. ports open everywhere with unnecessary services running on them.

Analog Kid
Oct 21, 2006, 09:14 PM
Ha, no the article was more like

"Apple's have more chance of a security risk becuase a virus was put on a very small number of iPods that only effects Windows."
I tried to submit this story to MacBytes yesterday with a "Humor" tag but I guess they didn't go for that...

Windows viruses sneak onto iPods, quotes from Symantec and Microsoft about how Apple is going to be targetted, year old market data... I just thought the whole thing was a journalistic joke.

finchna
Oct 21, 2006, 09:33 PM
CNN is repeating what the experts (symantec marketers) are saying to sell product. Bad news!

Soton Speed
Oct 21, 2006, 11:33 PM
B*******t (http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/video/frankfurt/Q6lan.mov)

:( :rolleyes:

ReanimationLP
Oct 22, 2006, 02:38 AM
Oh yes, the virus count from OSX went up from 0 to 1, then to 0 again. ;)

Snowy_River
Oct 22, 2006, 11:41 AM
Double post. Sorry...

Snowy_River
Oct 22, 2006, 11:42 AM
And Symantec identified six threats of malicious code written for the Mac OS X operating system in the first half of 2006, versus zero in the second half of 2005 and two the year before that.


This is truly interesting, as, if you search Symantec's virus database for Macintosh viruses, there has been one, and only one, recently. And, the best part of that one is that it's simply a proof-of-concept trojan.

Discovered: June 30, 2006
Updated: July 6, 2006 11:10:44 AM ZE9
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Macintosh OS X


OSX.Exploit.Launchd is a proof-of-concept Trojan horse that exploits the Apple Mac OS X LaunchD Local Format String Vulnerability (as described in Security Focus BID 18724). It provides root access on the Macintosh OSX version 10.4.6 or earlier.

Protection
Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate™ Daily) June 30, 2006
Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate™ Weekly) July 5, 2006
Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater) June 30, 2006
Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate™ Plus) June 30, 2006
Threat Assesment
Wild
Wild Level: Low
Number of Infections: 0 - 49
Number of Sites: 0 - 2
Geographical Distribution: Low
Threat Containment: Easy
Removal: Easy
Damage
Damage Level: Low
Payload: Provides root access under OSX version 10.4.6 or earlier.
Distribution
Distribution Level: Low
Writeup By: Costin Ionescu


This is really nothing compared to the Windows malware that is constantly cropping up.

SPUY767
Oct 22, 2006, 02:18 PM
This article was basically written to get hits. The iPods got the viruses most likely from a Chinese manufacturing firm who was installing and formatting the Hard Drives. This is not news. People say that Apple should check their iPods for viruses. Why? Why should Apple have any reason to believe that their iPods have been compromised. Apple may move portions of the manufacturing process to more secure facilities, but I would expect to see much more out of this winded antelope of a news story, the Leopard is about to crush its larynx.

VanNess
Oct 22, 2006, 05:18 PM
would such attempts be successful? of course, because the "stupid windows masses" would now exist as the "stupid mac os x masses." anyone who denies that is delusional.

That's essentially a reiteration of the "security through obscurity" claim that has been largely debunked as even the CNN article obligingly notes.

Its not "just" the Unix layer of security that makes OS X a less tempting target. That comes along for the ride. There are other security measures that Apple incorporates into layers on top of Unix in OS X (and Apple applications) that set Apple's vision of OS security apart from simply Unix permissions and port issues. The security sandbox that greets newly downloaded widgets isn't something that came along for the ride in Unix, that's something homegrown from Apple. The warning dialog for downloads in Safari isn't something from Unix, it's another Apple addition to the overall OS X security strategy. And on and on...

Although security software vendors such as Symantic aren't prone to admit it, Apple has to a degree benefited from Microsoft's past mistakes. Unlike Microsoft however, Apple has integrated solutions into the OS itself and has not relied on third party vendors to step in and do the dirty work. Microsoft never addressed such security nightmares as ActiveX and the system registry over the years, and that has had the effect of unwittingly establishing a well-beaten path for malware authors to take charge of the Windows OS. Even third party security solutions must rely on providing mostly after-the-fact patches, which isn't a good long-term solution given the amount of fresh malware that appears daily targeting the Windows OS.

The only truthful thing you can say about Apple is that they didn't ignore security issues even if their OS wasn't the target. The targeted OS is, from a comprehensive security standpoint, largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that there are folks out there who have the desire to compromise computer security, and that isn't something that should be addressed by bean counting the number of malware appearances on any given OS. The OS vendor has to take responsibility, and if it is consistently and historically proactive in providing security measures and updates, and constantly reinforces the security measures it has already in place, and it regularly introduces new security measures with timely updates to it's OS, then the bar is raised significantly for malware authors to gain access. At least it won't be as carefree and easy as it is now on Windows.

Delusional? Any talk about software security and Apple wins hands-down, because Apple's unqualified intention from the get-go was to take responsibility itself for OS security and not leave it in the hands of third party vendors or reliance on overly cautious users.

DJ OJ
Oct 22, 2006, 05:24 PM
There is a virus, not really virus type thing, on the mac. The installer hole. No big deal. Might even be fixed by now. I bet apple is making a pretty nice virus scanner protecter thing right now as-well. Just in case.

bousozoku
Oct 22, 2006, 06:15 PM
There is a virus, not really virus type thing, on the mac. The installer hole. No big deal. Might even be fixed by now. I bet apple is making a pretty nice virus scanner protecter thing right now as-well. Just in case.

Apple already distribute ClamAV for Mac OS X Server, which is anti-virus software, and there is even a graphical shell for it written by a third party.

DJ OJ
Oct 22, 2006, 07:04 PM
But nothing for the desktops?

jhu
Oct 23, 2006, 10:11 PM
Delusional? Any talk about software security and Apple wins hands-down, because Apple's unqualified intention from the get-go was to take responsibility itself for OS security and not leave it in the hands of third party vendors or reliance on overly cautious users.

while everything you've said is true, it is still true that malware writers are not targeting mac os x because there is no money to be made there (even the cnn article points that out). as such, mac os x's true exploit potential can't really be ascertained. windows xp has legions upon legions working out what, where, and how to exploit that system. the same can't be said for any current non-windows operating systems.

bousozoku
Oct 23, 2006, 10:25 PM
But nothing for the desktops?

No, but there isn't anything to stop you from downloading the pieces yourself.

while everything you've said is true, it is still true that malware writers are not targeting mac os x because there is no money to be made there (even the cnn article points that out). as such, mac os x's true exploit potential can't really be ascertained. windows xp has legions upon legions working out what, where, and how to exploit that system. the same can't be said for any current non-windows operating systems.

No one is going for the glory, either. 10 years ago, the glory would be more important because the courts rarely did anything about virus writers.

andrewface
Oct 23, 2006, 10:57 PM
i love how the article is about new mac viruses and the example they use is the ipod virus that DOESNT effect OSX hha

iJaz
Oct 24, 2006, 05:56 AM
i love how the article is about new mac viruses and the example they use is the ipod virus that DOESNT effect OSX hha
That's how far they have to stretch it, a virus for Windows on a product that was made by the same company that makes OS X... that's almost like a virus for Mac... :rolleyes:
Incredible! :eek: