Is Mac OS as safe as ever?

by admin February 27, 2006 at 10:22 am

Apple Computer fans have long loved to point out the safety of using Mac OS X, which has mostly been left alone by hackers. But the recent arrival of three threats has some asking: Is the software’s charmed security life over?

In the past two weeks, a pair of worms that target Mac OS X have been discovered, along with an easily exploitable, severe security flaw. The vulnerability exposes Mac users to risks that are more familiar to Windows owners: the installation of malicious code through a bad Web site or e-mail.

While these threats represent a sea change, there is no need for Mac owners to worry, experts said, as the published attacks are still mainly theoretical and not widespread. But they caution that Apple fans should not be smug: Now that it’s been done, other malicious code writers are likely to turn their attention to the operating system.

It’s a “small step in malicious code development for OS X,” said Kevin Long, an analyst at security specialist Cybertrust and a Mac user for 11 years. “The message we need to get out there is that Mac users should not be complacent.”

While Microsoft Windows users have grown accustomed to a seemingly incessant stream of computer worms, viruses and security vulnerabilities, the same is not true for Mac owners. Going by forum postings, many Apple customers believe their systems are much better protected against cyberattacks than the average Windows PC.

Full article: ZDNet News