On their Mac Security Blog Intego have released a report on the anniversary of them announced the discovery of what was considered the first major Trojan horse in history to target Mac OS X. The report explains how we got to the current state of Mac security in 2016, and also offering some tips how you can protect your Mac against highly-motivated hackers and malware writers targeting OS X.
It is of course written by a company with a vested interest in Mac security by selling us virus software but one thing Mac users should not do is bury our heads in the sand, thinking this is just a Windows problem. Down the right hand side of this post is an infographic produced by Intego charting the history of Mac related viruses and Malware over the last ten years but for die hard Mac users thee were issues before then.
Since the dawn of Apple, every Mac OS has had some manner of virus or worm. Elk Cloner, the very first Mac virus to be discovered in the wild, was written specifically for Apple DOS 3.3. In the 1990's, Word macro viruses were the most prevalent and dangerous of all Mac viruses. and there have been macro viruses capable of spreading on Macs as long as people have used MS Office on Macs. But back to the last 10 years. Intego say...
Over the next ten years, malware writers began targeting Mac OS X more and more, shattering the Mac's façade of invincibility. As a result, attitudes have changed; even the most optimistic Mac user realises that OS X security must now be a paramount concern.
Malware is one problem, but there are many reasons why you need to protect your Mac, including:
Many types of malware threaten Macs and are becoming more common: Trojan horses, macro viruses, worms, spyware, and more
Security flaws are regularly found in Mac OS X, providing malware writers with opportunities to attack Macs
Users who exchange files often with friends and colleagues face increased risks
Booby-trapped web pages can infect your Mac when you simply visit infected web sites
Children need protection from adult content on the web
Your personal files need to be protected in case of loss due to software or hardware problems
You have confidential files that need to be protected from hackers and prying eyes
To prevent malware attacks, should you not start making the same amount of effort to protect your Mac that users of other operating systems must do to keep themselves safe? This may not be a fun thing to do, but aren't these threats realities that Mac users face today?
In the end, there are plenty of bad guys—motivated hackers who will take the challenge if it means the reward is the ability to steal money from people—and there’s no question that they will make every effort possible to penetrate your Mac especially since as Mac users we tend to be more complacent about security in general.
So as Mac users are we overly complacent? Do you have security software on your Mac? If so what do you use? Have you ever had it pick a virus or malware? Discuss....