We here at Geekamongus are by no means partial to one operating system over another. We love Macs, we love Linux, we love Solaris, and we love those other guys. Seriously, in no way do we ever intend on taking sides, and articles such as this one are not to be mistaken as an attack upon a particular vendor, nor should they be misconstrued as a statement proclaiming that we prefer other platforms.
That said, some news items of late have raised a few eyebrows upon the foreheads of the security-minded regarding Apple and their operating system, OS X. For example, there seems to be a new variant of an OS X trojan out there, according to the folks at macnn.com.
Judging by the responses from the opinionated users at the bottom of that article, the Mac fan base may be smart enough to avoid such malicious software. Cynicism aside, it is clear there is an entirely untapped user base upon which Phishing attacks may be starting to prey. One must consider the fact that people who have used Macs their whole lives may not be as familiar with such vulnerabilities, where web sites attempt to trick you into downloading a plugin with ulterior motives in mind, and that they could be more easily fooled into taking the bait. Heck, it would seem the folks at Apple could use some tutelage about Microsoft viruses too.
Seeing as Apple still considers themselves to be rather impervious to viruses, trojans, worms, and their ilk, I don’t forsee this getting better any time soon, even though they did briefly post a note about using antivirus software on their website. One thing Microsoft users have going for them is that they are by-and-large more aware of common Internet vulnerabilities because they run into them more often, and they must take steps to avoid them. Some may even have received training in the workplace or from a geeky neice or nephew.
Granted, OS X is based upon a relatively secure Unix kernel and the Apple marketshare is much smaller than that of Microsoft. That can certainly help when talking about the prevention of spreading traditional viruses, trojans, and worms. However, when a user is unaware and clicks “OK” to download and install seemingly legitimate plugin, all bets are off. And who know what evil is brewing in the basements of evildoing jerkfaces to target OS X itself in ways which Windows users are unfamiliar with.