Apple has always prided itself for coming up with devices that are supposedly immune to Mac malware. But all of those perceptions are about to change as analysts started reporting that Macintosh may be more vulnerable to malware and viruses than it can actually admit.
A report on San Jose Mercury News cited experts as saying that the biggest vulnerability of Macintosh computers is that most of its users believe that their software are immune from malware and viruses. Zheng Bu, senior director of research for Milpitas-based FireEye, said that a huge number of Mac users have the perception that they are free from hacks.
Zheng said that the perception “is completely wrong.”
Although the majority of malware is aimed at Microsoft computers, Apple’s Macintosh is getting their fair share of malware in recent years. This is because MacBooks and iMacs have a big share of the market these days. Ever since Apple has made their devices more accessible to the market, malware devs and hackers started to study how to get into the system.
In recent years, Macintosh computers have already garnered 20 percent of the US market share. That percentage meant that Apple has also attracted the attention of malware creators and computer hackers.
The same report on San Jose Mercury News said that experts have been warning that Macintosh’s new mainstream image can also make them vulnerable to threats. And unlike Microsoft, which has come under attack from many kinds of malware and viruses, Macintosh isn’t exactly used to protecting itself from those kinds of attacks.
Andrew Conway, a researcher at Cloudmark, said that the first virus actually appeared on a Mac. He added in the report that the Mac operating system is not immune to malware, hacks and viruses.
Conway also said that he is certain that because of it going mainstream, Apple’s operating system is becoming attractive to hackers once again.
Making Macintosh Computers Safer
One of the biggest problems for both Windows and Macintosh is the use of third-party programs such as Adobe Flash Player and Java. The two companies haven’t yet realized the importance of partnering with third-party software manufacturers to better protect its system. Hackers and malware use these third-party software to get into a Windows or Macintosh computer.
As for Macintosh users, Kevin Haley, Symantec director of product management for security purposes, said that they must always accept updates from Apple and any third-party software. Any updates would probably mean that a malware problem has been resolved or some glitches in the program have been addressed.
Aside from accepting updates, Macintosh computers should also be wary of email attachments and suspicious links from sites like Facebook and Twitter. They should also install anti-malware software to better protect their computers.
With this vulnerability exposed, it makes you wonder if it will affect the sales of Mac computers. My friends, who are loyal Mac users, have always prided their computers for being immune against Mac malware. But now that the system is already susceptible to malware and hacking, can it maintain its lofty position on top of the operating system ladder?
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Source: Mercury News