Everyone knows Macs don’t get viruses, right? Wrong. That is a myth that Apple has been using to it’s advantage for many years. Do you remember the commercials? All operating systems (Unix, Linus, Windows, OS X, etc.) have the potential to be exploited. They all have security flaws in the code that must be updated in order to minimize the risk for hackers to infect systems. All software is inherently vulnerable and imperfect because it’s designed by humans.
So why all of a sudden are we starting to see reports of the malware named “Flashback” infecting 600,000+ machines worldwide? Simple. Apple continues to sell more MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pros, iPads and just about anything else they can. They continue to capture more and more of the market because quite frankly they make a great product. This also means that they’ve become a bigger target. For hackers this is a numbers game. Right now, the Windows operating system is the defacto standard for most business and home users but as this changes so will the amount of reported malware infections on Apple products.
So what steps can you take to protect your Mac from infection? I would start by reading this article in MacWorld. Next, you should consider buying and installing decent anti-malware software. I happen to like the products by ESET but there at least a couple others that don’t suck. Lastly, make sure that you practice safe web surfing habits which will minimize the likelyhood of becoming infected. -BW