Tuesday, May 09, 2006

McAfee: OS X Increasingly a Target for Malware

Mac users have historically nestled comfortably in "security by obscurity": Not only was BSD-based OS X starting from a more-secure base than Windows, the installed base was so much smaller that crackers passed by looking for easier pickins.

Now...not so much. Mind you, this is a security firm talking, one who is probably rubbing its collective hands over a juicy new Mac market. Still...(from The Register)

Anti-virus software firm McAfee has identified Mac OS X as a growing target for malware attacks.
According to McAfee Avert Labs, Mac platform vulnerabilities increased by 228 per cent in the past three years alone, from 45 found in 2003 to 143 in 2005. McAfee didn't say how many of these bugs were critical, preferring to let the numbers speak for themselves.

Microsoft's products saw a 73 per cent increase in security bug discovery over the same three years. While admitting that Windows remains the principal target for hackers, McAfee argues that its findings are enough reason for Mac fans to get protection.
"Many believe that using an Apple operating system is a form of security in itself, believing that they are far less susceptible to malware than Windows users," McAfee senior veep Stuart McClure said. "And while the threats targeting the Mac operating system are low in volume, the use of Apple products does not provide an invisibility cloak from malware, and users need to be more vigilant about security as adoption rates soar and attacks on Apple operating systems increase."


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