A new piece of malware targeting Apple OS X computers has been discovered by Microsoft. This virus exploits a vulnerability in the platform’s Office productivity suite, which was patched nearly three years ago. This goes to show that even though Windows-run devices are thought of as being less secure than Mac products, layered security is always needed to make sure the computer is staying protected.
Jeong Wook Oh of Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center said this malware is not yet widespread, but it does show hackers are paying attention to patches and holes in Mac’s programming.
“Exploiting Mac OS X is not much different from other operating systems,” Oh wrote on the Malware Protection Center’s blog. “Even though Mac OS X has introduced many mitigation technologies to reduce risk, your protection against security vulnerabilities has a direct correlation with updating installed applications.”
Oh said that statistically speaking, as the Apple operating system gains traction among more users, attacks on the platform will increase. This most recent vulnerability is essentially a “backdoor,” or a tool that will allow hackers and the malware programmers to get remote control of a computer. Users should make sure their computers have the patch applied to keep the malware off of their computer.
The New York Times blog said that with the recent Flashback virus making a lot of money off of infected users, there could be a big future in Mac-based malware. The news source said security experts predicted back in 2008 that when Apple’s share of the PC market reached 16 percent and Windows antivirus became 80 percent effective, Mac users would get more frequently attacked. The Times said that day could be closer than many think, so Mac and Windows users alike need to take a layered security approach to computing.