So you think your Apple Mac won't get a virus?
Many Apple Mac users are enthusiastic devotees; some members of the Apple Mac fan club are single-minded in the view that their Macs are secure – well, at least more secure than other brands of operating system software.
As a general principle, it is a myth that Apple Macs are generally more secure than other operating systems. As we said previously:
A securely managed and updated Windows (or other) operating system is more secure than an Apple Mac operating system that has not been securely configured or updated. Conversely, a securely managed and updated Apple Mac operating system is more secure than a Microsoft Windows (or other) operating system that has not been securely configured or updated. 1
While it is certainly true that the vast majority of malicious software is written for the Microsoft operating system platforms, this does not mean that cybercriminals cannot release or have not released malicious software that targets Apple Mac users.
Sophos has detected over 1,000 malicious programs that target Mac computers. 2 Some cross-platform malicious software that exploit vulnerabilities in Java 3 could just as easily infect Linux and Mac computers as they can Microsoft Windows – should the criminal choose to do so.
Also, there is no shortage of software bugs in Apple products, including Macs, being reported. The following are just some of the more recent ones we have provided warnings about through the Stay Smart Online Alert Service:
· Safari 5.0.4 released correcting multiple bugs – SSO-AL2011-005
· Apple releases iOS 4.3 update for iPhone/iPad/iPod – SSO-AD2011-006
· Apple Releases Update for Java - SSO-AD2011-004
Any of these software bugs could be exploited by cybercriminals to attack your computer and used to install malicious software, or otherwise take control of your Mac computer. If Apple Mac becomes more popular (as the iPhone and iPad are), then it is likely the volume and severity of malicious software that target these systems will increase. We have seen similar trends in the past. For example, since the Mozilla Firefox web browser has become more popular with greater market share, cybercriminals now frequently write malicious software that attack the Mozilla Firefox web browser, in addition to the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.