Oops! I thought my Mac was safe…

A lot of people have switched to a Mac just to get rid of all the malware found on a Windows PC. Actually all the malware they may attract to their PC but the perception is that you can be infected even if you are on “best practices”.

But everybody who understands how malware is created and spread, knew that it was a matter of time for serious infections on MacOSX now that the platform is getting a worthy percentage in the market. If we also take into account that most of the new users in the platform are mainly consumers with no real understanding of how things really work, things are getting worse.

Even though Apple was always downplaying the possibility of malware on a Mac (and laughing on Windows’ users in big adventures), they “introduced” phrases for their OS like “Another benefit of the 64-bit applications in Snow Leopard is that they’re even more secure from hackers and malware than the 32-bit version.” and “With virtually no effort on your part, Mac OS X offers a multilayered system of defenses against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware.” which convinces users that everything is OK. even though the words “even more secure” means we are not at 100% yet…

What is the latest threat? As ZDNet reports:

According to a report from a Danish IT security company, an underground group has completed work on a fully operational kit specifically designed to build malware aimed at the Mac OS platform: The first advanced DIY (Do-It-Yourself) crimeware kit aimed at the Mac OS X platform has just been announced on a few closed underground forums. … The kit is being sold under the name Weyland-Yutani BOT and it is the first of its kind to hit the Mac OS platform. Apparently, a dedicated iPad and Linux release are under preparation as well.

If a group decides to deploy an attack like this on a wide scale, the impact on Mac users could be devastating. Only a tiny percentage of Macs run antivirus software, and Mac users have been conditioned to believe they’re immune from Internet threats. That’s a deadly combination.

All of us on the Windows platform have suffered for years, but we have learned the hard way how we can be protected. MacOSX is not the only problem. The whole market is changing and millions are now using devices with iOS or Android. Some millions will be using other tablet OSes soon. All these people need to be educated but the companies that sell these machines are not willing to undertake this “mission”. I believe, mainly because any mention on security concerns will hurt their sales. But a serious infection will definitely hurt their reputation and their market share (the only thing that they care about). Let’s see…

Read the whole story at ZDNet: Coming soon to a Mac near you: serious malware | ZDNet.

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