Home > Uncategorized > Mac o/s isn’t susceptible to viruses- statement removed from Apple website

Mac o/s isn’t susceptible to viruses- statement removed from Apple website

Apple has quietly removed a statement from its website (http://www.apple.com/why-mac/better-os/) that the Mac operating system isn’t susceptible to viruses. Apple released a patch to a Java vulnerability that lead to the infection of roughly 600,000 Macs with Flashback Trojan, there were claims weeks later from security researchers that hundreds of thousands of Macs were still infected.

The specific language about the operating system, “It doesn’t get PC viruses” was replaced with “It’s built to be safe.” But now, Apple may be taking security threats more seriously. It also says “Innocent-looking files downloaded over the Internet may contain dangerous malware in disguise.”

Apple’s Macintosh systems were generally considered safer in terms of virus attacks. Experts believe, since Mac OS is used by less than 5% in the world, it makes little sense for the virus writers to target these. There have been however, instances of Viruses and malwares affecting Mac systems.

However, in September 2011 Intego, security company detected a Trojan horse, which they named Flashback, masquerading as an Adobe Flash Player installation. Once downloaded the malware would disable some of the features the user had previously installed on their computer. The infection then attempted to inject code into applications launched by the user, to connect to the host server and send back unique information that could identify the user.

In April 2012 another security firm Dr. Web reported a variant of the Flashback which infected 600,000 Macs around the world. This version exploited vulnerability in the Java programming language and meant users could be infected simply by visiting a compromised website. In this particular case, Apple’s aloofness was even called legendary. Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, calls “Apple a decade behind Microsoft in terms of security”.

Apple is introducing a new app security measure called Gatekeeper in the upcoming release of Mountain Lion, the latest version of Mac OS X.

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