26 thoughts on “Macs Are Becoming Targets

  1. Thanks for the update Don. But anyone who downloads unknown files from unknown sites really deserves what they get.


  2. Hi Ron. The point is things are changing and the Apple should no longer be considered immune to attacks. This is just the first aimed directly at the Mac. They will come in many forms from now on.

    They will appear as attachments from friends you know. They will be via iChat. They may even come as supposed music destined for iTunes.

    The Mac is used by a lot of less tech savvy folks and it will not necessarily be apparent that you are downloading a malicious file.

    Also with the new firewall problems, you may be opening up acces to your PC and you won’t even know it. Most people never read their firewall logs to see who has been requesting access. I have hundreds of firewall attacks per day.

  3. Despite the gleeful hand-clapping from Windoze Fanbois, this does NOT mean that OSX is just as vulnerable as Windows. You must enter your admin password to install this Trojan. It is not a vulnerabililty, it is simply social engineering, like calling folks up and asking for their logins and passwords, which remains one of the easiest ways to break into a Unix network.

    It’s not time to panic, just yet. Practice safe hex, and you’ll be OK.


  4. Hi Henry. Thanks for dropping in. No I am not saying that OSX is as vulnerable as MS. MS has a lot more experience, however as the game changes and OSX gains a larger following, then it will become more of a target.

    From over 35 years working with computers, some of the time working on IBM OS 360 security products, I know that there is no OS that is without vulnerabilities.

    I always try to practice safe hex and one of the best practices is not to think that you are bullet proof.

  5. The Mac is used by a lot of less tech savvy folks and it will not necessarily be apparent that you are downloading a malicious file.

    I beg your pardon. 🙂

    Firewall? In my Imac OS Tiger? What firewall?

    Don Ray: Are you referring to the new Leopard System that just came out last week?

  6. Don Ray:

    Thanks for that link. Rather interesting. And of course you are correct that Macs are not immune.

    As for this new Trojan, however, a person would have to be an idiot to fall for that gimmick. Either that or someone who is overhexed.

  7. Sorry Don Ray, I didn’t mean to imply that you are panicking.

    People have been cracking into Unix networks since before Windows or Mac were born, and no doubt vulnerabilites are still fairly plentiful. Fortunately, most of them require a lot of skill to exploit.

    Here’s a heads up for everyone. The Russian Business Network, estimated to be responsible for more than 30% of the world’s spam and malware, has set up shop in Panama. The last three applications for membership in my Forum all came from the Panama RBN. Look for IPs in 81.95.151.xxx range.

  8. Don it is not the first trojan that has been found however the inner working of Unix and the quick responsiveness of Apple in releasing security fixes makes it nearly impossible for you to get infected
    for once the only way for you to catch a maligns virus is to manually install it yourself unlike in windows where the program can be self installing , Unless you are enabling Root in osx there is no chance of getting infected by these kind of trojans even if you have the file on your hard drive .
    Root is disabled and if you don’t know what I am talking about then you are not in root mode which require an admin password to access and activate..
    with all this said things can change so It is not a bad idea to have an antivirus on your Mac
    this is free and effective it finds a lot of windows trojians and virii sitting in your mac’s 🙂

  9. Don ray wrote….
    >The Mac is used by a lot of less tech savvy folks and it will not >necessarily be apparent that you are downloading a malicious file.The >Mac is used by a lot of less tech savvy folks and it will not necessarily be >apparent that you are downloading a malicious file.
    How did you get that info ?? you must be joking right?
    just because a Mac user doesn’t need to fuss around with their PC it doesn’t mean they are less tech savvy it is actually the opposite

  10. Hi Gerry. What you say is true. However even the most secure of sites have been hacked and caution is a wise thing to have.

    I use the Clam Anti virus on my Linux system, So far, it hasn’t found any email containing a virus, but it may some day.

  11. Don..OSX is not a site if you do not allow the application or virus to run by entering your admin password nothing can get in your system and harm it , in other words if you don’t install it you’re safe.
    I am assuming before you let a stranger into your house you look you invite him in.. the same precaution should be used on your Mac

  12. Gerry. You are correct, however Apple is being purchased by less computer savvy people and they all assume that the Mac is invulnerable to viruses and trojans.

    Those that are distributing this malware are getting more clever as well. Many OSX users will not have the slightest idea what a codec is and when a sweet little old grandmother is told that she can’t view her grandchild’s video on Facebook because Quicktime needs a new codec, she will probably click “install” and she has just invited the culprit in.

    The whole purpose of the above post is to say that because of Apple’s renewed popularity and sales growth, that it is now becoming more of a target.

  13. >The whole purpose of the above post is to say that because of Apple’s >renewed popularity and sales growth, that it is now becoming more of a >target.

    That’s hardly the case, 2 trojans in 7 years is becoming more of a target ??
    And still your claim that Mac users are less savvy is based on what ??
    many studies prove in fact the opposite
    Symantec CEO says in an August 07 interview
    “I believe in part that historically the user base of Apple (NSDQ:AAPL) products are more technically knowledgeable – they’re a bit wiser. So they’re not necessarily as susceptible to the typical confidence tricks and so forth,”
    “It’s not necessarily that Mac users are smarter or dumber, but that they’re more technically knowledgeable — that has been our experience as well.”Whitehouse said.

  14. I think that 2 trojans in 7 years has more to do with the fact that from 2000 to 2005 the Mac had less than 3% of the PC market share.

    Since 2005, Apple has grown to 8.1% (3rd quarter 2007) vs 6.1% (3rd quarter 2006). That means that in the last two years, Apple has more than doubled its market share. That is the reason, I say it will be more of a target.

    I personally could care less. For overall value, I will stick with Linux. Apple is based on a Linux platform and therefore shares the Linux security traits. You just get to pay more to get Apple’s more sophisticated implementation or presentation layer.

  15. you’re wrong.. again Apple is not based on a Linux platform the platform is UNIX and it comes in different flavors GNU/Linux is one of them(based on GNU Operating system) ,
    OSX is based on Darwin and BSD OS there are many differences between the 2 OS, though they are “similar” in many ways the Aqua interface and system configuration adds an extra layer of protection..
    It is documented so I am not making this up Linux is more secure than Windows that’s for sure but it is proven that the world’s safest and most secure online server operating system is the Open Source family of BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) and the Mac OS X is based on BSD/Darwin. In short an OSX-BSD server is harder to crack than other platforms including GNU/Linus .

    As far as viruses and trojan you’re also wrong, prior to OSX the Mac OS had 40 Mac-specific viruses and related threats. And this is during the lowest market share ever so your argument of less market less equals less virii doesn’t really make sense.
    It is IMPOSSIBLE as of today too get your Mac infected with a virus, first because there are no viruses and secondly because the virus CANNOT install itself like it does on Windows..

    You don’t just pay more for the presentation layer
    (I imagine you are talking about the overall design)
    but also for the semi proprietary hardware architecture which helps to maintain a higher reliability factor as far as implementation yes it is definitely more sophisticated than anything else out there but that is a good thing it is part of the evolution of computing .
    I am willing to pay a little more for a more secure, sophisticated, usable and compatible machine and even if I don’t build my PC from cheap chinese parts I can still be tech savvy

  16. Oh and here is a list of Linux viruses and worms.. as you can see even if Linux has a much smaller market share (2.8%) than OSX in just a few years it racked up quite a few nasties so how does market share equals virii??? remember Linux runs on Macs as well so a small part of the Linux market share includes Apple’s machines….
    Linux Virii and worms:
    Linux/Lion (also known as Ramen)
    MetaPHOR (also known as Simile)
    RST [1]
    Winux (also known as Lindose and PEElf)

  17. My, I really have touched a nerve with you. I am glad to find such a MAC advocate. I am glad that it serves your needs. I don’t need to spend that much to do what I do. If you do, I can see why it is worth worth arguing about.

    I am through with the discussion.

  18. I don’t like misinformation no matter where it comes from and I am very opinionated , life without arguments is boring 🙂

  19. Hey Henry, did you write that before Gerry’s last post. That was funny, because he said that he does like it.

    Here is a simple warning, but is the type of thing that an unsophisticated computer user might fall for. When removing an unwanted drop-down, always click on the X, because the “close” button may be fake.

  20. Though the computer religious wars have been around now for many decades, the more important thing to many of us is that, in the face of the criminals who are attacking each and every one of us, we should probably set those differences aside to deal with the issue of defeating our real opponents. Personally I would favor some relatively draconian measures to get rid of them. Maybe turn them over to the Saudi judicial system. Just a thought. Thanks for reminding us to be more vigilant, Don Ray.

  21. Good point, Frank. There was a clear decrease in spam coming from the USA when a single spammer received a long prison sentence.

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