Skip to comments.1 in 5 Macs Has Malware [STUDY]
Posted on 04/24/2012 6:55:44 AM PDT by for-q-clinton
In a challenge to the prevailing belief that Apple computers are immune to the sort of cyberattacks that plague WIndows-based machines, research firm Sophos has released a study claiming that one in five Macs have malware.
The report, released on Tuesday, is based on a 100,000-strong snapshot of the millions of Macs that downloaded Sophoss free Mac antivirus software. The study found that 20% of Macs were carrying one or more instances of Windows malware.
Such malware doesnt cause symptoms unless the Mac owners run Windows on their machines, but it can be spread to others.
However, this doesnt appear to be solely a Windows-based problem. The report also found that 2.7% of Macs were infected with Mac OS malware. The majority of such Mac OS malware is composed of fake antivirus attacks, like the recent Flashback botnet. Mac owners can contract such malware by downloading email attachments, visiting rogue websites and unknowingly installing it via their USB drive. The chart below provides a breakdown of the types of Mac OS malware:
To avoid downloading such malware, Sophos recommends running an antivirus program and keeping it up to date, exercising caution about which links you click on, keep software patches current and keeping an eye out for email-based scams.
Please read the ENTIRE article and look at the chart. Macs ARE infected with OSX malware.
I think it likely that the sample would contain a higher proportion (how high is impossible to say) of infected computers than those not downloading anti-virus software.
Most malware these days is based on social engineering; the operating system is not the primary vulnerability that it once was. As long as clueless users can be tricked into installing malware, it will continue to spread.
I missed the part where they compared the security of Win7 to OSX? Where is it in that article?
All I saw was Win7 is more safe than WinXP.
Completely agree. And as OSX is more widely used it will have more users to target. Windows7 is mostly social engineering Malware (or people trying to get free stuff). When Mac users do that...the macbots act as if it doesn't count. But they do count it when they talk about windows malware.
Macbots live with a double standard and their heads in the sand. All I'm trying to do is point out to them that everyone should use safe computing practices regardless of OS. And that includes having a 3rd party AV solution.
The rate for Mac infections is far lower than those for Windows, and of the infections that are Mac related, over 75% relate to the Flashback trojan (unpatched machines).
No matter what OS you opt to use - EVERYONE (yes, every single user) should have some sort of anti-malware program installed. A Mac user is better protected by the OS than the Windows user - but nonetheless - everyone should be running some sort of program. It just makes sense.
Should have included Lazlo in PA on my reply. Read the ENTIRE article. It clearly shows that Macs do have Mac viruses as well. Also as the user base grows they will become more targets of this malware.
Macs are malware vectors,
spreading disease wherever they go.
You must be very,very,very,very, lonely.
Using your link it looks like Windows 7 is more safe than OSX.
it states that 4 in 1000 win7 machines have malware or 0.4% According to the article above 2.7% Macs have mac malware.
Thanks for confirming that windows 7 is safer than OSX.
Very astute observation. If you look at the link Hodar posted earlier where only 0.4% of Windows 7 machines are infected with malware I think it proves Mac users are the ones not playing it safe on the Internet. As this article shows that their windows machines have a lot higher malware rate and even their OSX has a 2.7% malware rate (675% higher than a windows 7 machine)
I know many Windows users that dropped using Windows because of malware and went to OSX. They ran 0 virus protection on windows, downloaded illegal software and surfed porn sites.
Those users will attract malware everywhere they go. As OSX gets more malware written for it--they will keep on collecting it.
Mac users have been hiding behind the mask of insignificance for a long time...welcome to the big time Apple lovers...you finally made it! Don’t ya feel great now?
and BTW...SECURITY THROUGH OBSCURITY doesn’t work.....you now have work to do..
I have always thought Linux should claim that they have been successfully delivering Windows viruses for years without getting infected. Great marketing slogan somewhere in there...
I do not own a Mac. Never have, but my next PC will be a Mac. I own 3 PC’s at home, and have built my own systems for decades. I use Windows at home, at work and also write some code and design hardware/software solutions as part of my job. I like to think of myself as not really having a dog in this race.
I do think that a great deal of Mac users are ASSUMING that OSX will protect them, and there is a deal of work, advertizing and articles to support that feeling. OSX is based upon the Darwin Kernal, which is a full blown UNIX derivitive. UNIX is and has always been the most stable and secure OS out there. So, OS X gets a lot of inheret security from it’s ancestry.
But, that said ... I would never encourage anyone to depend solely upon their OS for security from malware. Mac, Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, BeOS ... everyone should have something to protect them, because even *if* your OS is secure and safe, 3rd party add-ons are usually full of security holes. I offer Java and Adobe Flash as prime examples of security violations that are waiting to infect the unprepared (and unpatched).
Is one better than the other (Mac vs Windows)? Depends upon your usage model. Want to throw together movies, build a scrapbook, edit pictures with minimal effort and maximum results .... Apple.
Want to write some software to control a factory? Into hardcore gaming? Want a plethora of free software that will do what you need done, cheap or free? Windows.
But, it really boils down to what you know, what you are comfortable with, and what you want out of your computer. Down, dirty and cheap - Windows. Simple, Elegant and Quick - Apple. If you haven’t played with iMovie or iPhoto - these will prove my point quite nicely.
Why will my next PC be a Mac? Because, for what I want to do at home, the Mac does it best. I have a laptop for productivity, coding and design. But, for making quick movies of my travels, my grandkids, for home networking and seamless tie-ins to my various consoles; the Mac Mini fits the bill pefectly.
Astute observation. I agree with you completely. Like Ron White says "You can't fix stupid".
Chevy sux, Ford rox! Sheesh! Nothing really changes. LOL
LOL. That's one way to look at it. As a full-time Linux user, I see virus attachments and shrug. I have occasionally thought of trying to run them under Wine just to see what they could do.
Even the Unix folks can join this game.
Vi forever! Emacs is a solution looking for a problem.
>>>>You must be very,very,very,very, lonely.
4Q has a life - and this is it. Trolling the internet for anything that puts Mac in a bad light, then posting it here to troll for arguements.
When it comes to 4Q - the thing to do is ignoreanus.
I bought a Mac a couple of years ago. I never could get used to it, it always felt like I had my shoes on the wrong feet. That and it’s on it’s third DVD drive and the aluminum case is slightly bent causing difficulty ejecting discs from the now working DVD drive.
I may have to just get used to the Mac in the future, I really don’t like the new Metro interface that Microsoft is pushing.