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Flashback malware exposes big gaps in Apple security response
ZDNet ^ | April 29, 2012 | Ed Bott

Posted on 05/01/2012 1:39:35 PM PDT by TheBattman

In one of those great ironies of technology, an increased incidence of malware is a sign that your product has been a success in the market.

Apple’s been astonishingly successful with its Mac hardware in recent years. The dark side of that success is the attention they’ve begun to attract from online criminals.

Apple and its customers got a hint of what was in store with last year’s Mac Defender outbreak. This year, a much larger and more disturbing outbreak has infected more than 600,000 Macs with a piece of malware called Flashback.The entire Flashback episode has in fact exposed Apple’s security weak spots.

Eugene Kaspersky last week argued that Apple is “ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security.”

Those aren’t just self-serving statements from a company that sells security software. Kaspersky’s argument didn’t even mention antivirus solutions. Instead, he said, Apple’s security efforts have been slow, reactive, and generally ineffective:

We now expect to see more and more because cyber criminals learn from success and this was the first successful one. [Apple] will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago. They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software. That’s what Microsoft did in the past after so many incidents like Blaster and the more complicated worms that infected millions of computers in a short time. They had to do a lot of work to check the code to find mistakes and vulnerabilities. Now it’s time for Apple [to do that].

(Excerpt) Read more at zdnet.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: apple; computers; malware; virus
More "mountain out of a molehill (actually - a mountain out of a spec of dust, as far as I can tell). The only ones spouting these warnings and alerts are those who stand to gain from a rush to "protect" Macs. I have yet to find a single person who has experienced any of these supposed threats. Only these tech pages and the antivirus companies.
1 posted on 05/01/2012 1:39:49 PM PDT by TheBattman
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To: Swordmaker

Just pinging you to an article with a bunch of repeated bunk, speculation, and inflammatory statements.

This writer is even still quoting the heavily debunked “600,000 Macs infected” line. Figured you would want to add your 2 cents worth.


2 posted on 05/01/2012 1:41:50 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: TheBattman

Impossible! Macs don’t get viruses!!!


3 posted on 05/01/2012 2:03:54 PM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (Anybody but Obama and Romney)
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To: TheBattman; ~Kim4VRWC's~; 1234; Abundy; Action-America; acoulterfan; AFreeBird; Airwinger; ...
Another "Sky is Falling on Macs" article vis-a-vis Mac security—PING!

On the other hand, I have YET to find anyone who has been legitimately been infected with the Flashback Trojan since this kerfluffle has been in the news!


Apple Security Ping!

Please, No Flame Wars!
Discuss technical issues, software, and hardware.
Don't attack people!
Don't respond to the Anti-Apple Thread Trolls!
PLEASE IGNORE THEM!!!

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.

4 posted on 05/01/2012 3:16:34 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
Impossible! Macs don’t get viruses!!!

Interesting. Have owned Macs since 1984 and never had a problem. You seem to know a lot about the subject. Maybe you can fill in all of us Mac owners with what you know about Mac Viruses. Really.
5 posted on 05/01/2012 5:33:15 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
Impossible! Macs don’t get viruses!!!

No but it seems to be impossible to actually find a Mac user that has one. Feel free to have all of them you can find, post their experience here. I have found a few PC bug attached to eMail that infected PC users send me, but never anything else.

Virus protection software companies have an interest in spreading fear, because it helps sell software and Mac people being dumb as a box of rocks, usually pay for software instead of stealing it like some users of other systems might. Twenty seven years virus free, make the same claim if you can.

6 posted on 05/01/2012 5:33:50 PM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
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To: PA Engineer
Impossible! Macs don’t get viruses!!!

Interesting. Have owned Macs since 1984 and never had a problem. You seem to know a lot about the subject. Maybe you can fill in all of us Mac owners with what you know about Mac Viruses. Really.


I think the only one I've gotten since the mid 1990s was that Microsoft one that did something in Microsoft Word. It did something like exploit the ability in Word to write some sort of executable script.
7 posted on 05/01/2012 5:37:50 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: itsahoot
Twenty seven years virus free, make the same claim if you can.

Why I never! I'll have you know, I don't do the sorts of things that people catch viruses from!

8 posted on 05/01/2012 5:40:32 PM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (Anybody but Obama and Romney)
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To: Yashcheritsiy

As they get more popular you will see more malware made to attack them.


9 posted on 05/01/2012 5:43:48 PM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
Impossible! Macs don’t get viruses!!!

While I learned my lesson long ago to never say "never", I have yet to see a virus or trojan, or other malware on any of my Macs since I first installed OS X (late 2001).

I have antivirus installed for the purpose of manually scanning files I open in a Windows virtual environment. I'm still waiting for compelling reasons to actually "run" antivirus software to protect my Macs.

10 posted on 05/01/2012 7:10:02 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: A CA Guy

As they get more popular you will see more malware made to attack them.”

Where is the “aww geez, not that crap again” guy when ya need him?


11 posted on 05/01/2012 7:18:12 PM PDT by Airwinger (Semper Fi, Time to use that motto for our Constitution. (ALWAYS FAITHFUL!))
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To: A CA Guy

Well, I actually just posted my original comment just to twist some tails (it worked!), because actually, I really don’t care about Mac vs. PC. As long as I can turn it on and get to Free Republic and play Civilization IV, I’m pretty content.

However, I seriously doubt that Mac is “immune” to viruses. Nothing is immune to viruses. From what I’ve heard, the main reason there are hardly any viruses for Macs is because of the relatively small percentage of the computing population that uses Macs. More damage to be done attacking the huge number of MS and PC users.


12 posted on 05/02/2012 9:33:52 AM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (Anybody but Obama and Romney)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
I'll have you know, I don't do the sorts of things that people catch viruses from!

Nice dodge. Obviously you can't make the claim.

13 posted on 05/02/2012 10:39:25 AM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
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To: Swordmaker

In all fairness - I am posting this as a form of defense against the “Apple fan boi” insults.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/oxford-university-it-staff-somewhat-overwhelmed-by-mac-malware/4937

Now - I still see no empirical data.


14 posted on 05/04/2012 12:02:04 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: A CA Guy
As they get more popular you will see more malware made to attack them.

We've been hearing that Tired old meme for over twelve years. When is it going to happen. I'm STILL LOOKING for a single infected member of this Flasback botnet! I haven't found one yet. . . and it's been over six weeks of looking!

15 posted on 05/04/2012 2:45:59 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
However, I seriously doubt that Mac is “immune” to viruses. Nothing is immune to viruses. From what I’ve heard, the main reason there are hardly any viruses for Macs is because of the relatively small percentage of the computing population that uses Macs. More damage to be done attacking the huge number of MS and PC users.

There are no self installing, self transmitting, self replicating computer viruses for Apple Mac OSX. The "Security by Obscurity" canard has been shot down too many times to repeat the entire argument in its entirety. Suffice it to say that the Witty Worm was written to target a mere 12,000 vulnerable computers five years ago and when released into the wild, all 12,000 of them were infected within 45 minutes! There are now over 75,000,000 unprotected OSX Macs in the wild and no one has written a successful self-transmitting, self-installing, self-executing virus. Not one... In twelve years of trying. There are no viable vectors!

There are about 25 viable Trojans out in the wild, but the OS itself will warn you if you try to download, install, or attempt to execute one of them.

Apple Macs are approaching 18% of the installed base of PCs in the US, are over 30% in California, and 10% in the World... So exactly what IS the magic percentage where the bad guys will suddenly realize they can make more money attacking Macs than they can attacking those 12,000 PCs that were vulnerable to the Witty Worm?

16 posted on 05/04/2012 3:04:41 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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