or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Mac platform faced 58 malware threats from Q2 to Q4 2011 - report
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mac platform faced 58 malware threats from Q2 to Q4 2011 - report

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Mac OS X endured 58 separate malware attacks from April 2011 to December 2011, a small fraction when compared to Microsoft's Windows operating system, according to a new summary from a security research firm.

Security lab F-Secure released its 2011 Mac Malware Summary earlier this week, noting that Apple's platform had faced "several dozen" new threats throughout the year. To calculate the figures, the firm counted unique variants of malware that occurred during the second, third and fourth quarters of 2011.

"We prefer a more conservative approach when counting malware. The more generic and family based, the better," the report noted.

According to the summary, a total of 58 malicious software variants were detected during the period. Trojan-downloaders made up the bulk of the attacks with 29 variants during the period. Backdoor malware was the second-most common with 15 separate instances detected.

The report pointed out that the number of malware attacks remained small when compared to Windows malware, though it did note that last year's number was "definitely something" when compared to the number of Mac threats seen in previous years.


Source: F-Secure


June was the busiest month for Mac malware with 12 known threats, followed by October with 11 instances.

"As we correctly predicted back in May, Mac malware has not scaled continuously due to market share, but rather, is more the result of opportunist "bubble economies" that have produced new threats in fits and starts," researchers said, adding that they expect "more of the same" for 2012.


Source: F-Secure


Last spring, a malware emerged that billed itself as MACDefender anti-virus software. Apple eventually dealt with the issue with a security update. A Russian online payment site was later linked to the MACDefender scam.

Another Mac OS X trojan was discovered posing as a phony Flash Player last September. An updated version of the software even sought to disable Apple's built-in anti-malware capabilities.

Apple added a daily malware definitions check to Mac OS X last year in order to preempt possible attacks. In some cases, updates to the malware definitions have managed to head off threats before they became functional.

As for the iPhone, iOS remained relatively unaffected by malware last year. Security researchers found Apple's mobile operating system to be untouched last August, even as threats to Google's Android mobile operating system grew rapidly.
post #2 of 43
Who actually runs into these? Since the dawn of the Internet, I've not had a single problem on any of my Macs.

Not saying they don't exist, I'm just saying they're nowhere near as easy to catch as the PC viruses that plague, for example, this worthless piece of crap tower laying splayed open on my living room floor that I'm fixing for someone else.

Get this, it's too old to run anything but XP, and the XP install on it was perfectly fine, save for the virus that couldn't be ridded without an OS reinstall. So I wipe the drive like a sane person, right? Go to install XP and it won't install. Obviously. No SATA drivers and the HDD is SATA. Okay, so I find a slipstreamed XP with SATA drivers. Refuses to install. Exact same error. I don't have a clue why. I shouldn't have to know these things! NOW I have to go find my stash of really, REALLY old hard drives to try one of them out to see if I can get the stupid thing working again at all. YOU WERE ON THE DRIVE BEFORE, XP. WHY WON'T YOU INSTALL NOW?!

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #3 of 43
This story would have been much more interesting had it included the Windows and Android numbers rather than just alluded to them being "larger".
post #4 of 43
Based on the flawed concept of security through obscurity Mac OS should have some viruses by now and iOS should have a lot more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Who actually runs into these? Since the dawn of the Internet, I've not had a single problem on any of my Macs.

Remember, these are malware threats in the form of trojans not actual viruses.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

Reply

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

Reply
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Get this, it's too old to run anything but XP, and the XP install on it was perfectly fine, save for the virus that couldn't be ridded without an OS reinstall. So I wipe the drive like a sane person, right? Go to install XP and it won't install. Obviously. No SATA drivers and the HDD is SATA. Okay, so I find a slipstreamed XP with SATA drivers. Refuses to install. Exact same error. I don't have a clue why. I shouldn't have to know these things! NOW I have to go find my stash of really, REALLY old hard drives to try one of them out to see if I can get the stupid thing working again at all. YOU WERE ON THE DRIVE BEFORE, XP. WHY WON'T YOU INSTALL NOW?!

This copy of Windows is not genuine.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

This copy of Windows is not genuine.

Nope, it's the same "Setup cannot find an attached hard drive and cannot continue. Press F3 to restart the computer and do absolutely nothing all over again." for both the slipstreamed one and this retail copy of XP I have.

Just plain stupid is what it is.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


This story would have been much more interesting had it included the Windows and Android numbers rather than just alluded to them being "larger".

Aren't Windows threats in the hundreds of thousands?

58 ain't so bad
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Aren't Windows threats in the hundreds of thousands?

58 ain't so bad

I just think its funny their graph goes up to "12" haha

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Nope, it's the same "Setup cannot find an attached hard drive and cannot continue. Press F3 to restart the computer and do absolutely nothing all over again." for both the slipstreamed one and this retail copy of XP I have.

Just plain stupid is what it is.

you need to get the driver and put it on a floppy, and press F6 during the blue portion of the install so it loads the driver from the floppy. yes this is how you do it.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

you need to get the driver and put it on a floppy, and press F6 during the blue portion of the install so it loads the driver from the floppy. yes this is how you do it.

what is a floppy?
post #11 of 43
It says that the bulk of them are trojans. Are there any that found a way to bypass the password and install without the user having to type in their password?
post #12 of 43
Has anyone actually experienced one of these things ever even on a pc? I've mostly not had any security software on any of my machines, but whever I do install some to check the only thing they've ever picked up is themselves. The same goes at places I've worked which have always had security installed, in the last 12 years I've never seen anything come up.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Based on the flawed concept of security through obscurity Mac OS should have some viruses by now and iOS should have a lot more.




Remember, these are malware threats in the form of trojans not actual viruses.

Actually, OS X security is open-source, you can go and download it off apples website along with loads of other code.

Reminder to everyone that gets confused, malware =! virus. Like Linux, OS X currently has 0 virus's that affect it in the wild.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Steve View Post

It says that the bulk of them are trojans. Are there any that found a way to bypass the password and install without the user having to type in their password?

They would have to find an exploit in the kernel, or even worse the UNIX security permission system, which puts even Linux at risk.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBFromOZ View Post

what is a floppy?

This

and this

.
post #16 of 43
It would be interesting to conduct a survey to see what age group are most afraid of viruses and malware. It is obvious that over time all major computer systems have become a lot more impervious to software exploits, but those of us who are older still remember the days when virus threats were real. If you ask a person from the 14th century what they fear most they may tell you "the plague", but that doesn't make it a widespread threat today, and hardly a factor to include in everyday decisions.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post

This

and this

.

ohh!! the 4 pointed shurikens we throw at interns? i get u now ;-)
post #18 of 43
I can see the headline on CNN's Money Tech section now ... "Apple not so safe after all... Macs hit by massive increase in Software Attacks"
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Get this, it's too old to run anything but XP, and the XP install on it was perfectly fine, save for the virus that couldn't be ridded without an OS reinstall. So I wipe the drive like a sane person, right? Go to install XP and it won't install. Obviously. No SATA drivers and the HDD is SATA. Okay, so I find a slipstreamed XP with SATA drivers. Refuses to install. Exact same error. I don't have a clue why. I shouldn't have to know these things! NOW I have to go find my stash of really, REALLY old hard drives to try one of them out to see if I can get the stupid thing working again at all. YOU WERE ON THE DRIVE BEFORE, XP. WHY WON'T YOU INSTALL NOW?!

Go into the BIOS and enable PATA or IDE mode under SATA operation mode.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Get this, it's too old to run anything but XP, and the XP install on it was perfectly fine, save for the virus that couldn't be ridded without an OS reinstall. So I wipe the drive like a sane person, right? Go to install XP and it won't install. Obviously. No SATA drivers and the HDD is SATA. Okay, so I find a slipstreamed XP with SATA drivers. Refuses to install. Exact same error. I don't have a clue why. I shouldn't have to know these things! NOW I have to go find my stash of really, REALLY old hard drives to try one of them out to see if I can get the stupid thing working again at all. YOU WERE ON THE DRIVE BEFORE, XP. WHY WON'T YOU INSTALL NOW?!

But why would you want to though? Just pop XP into VMware on the Mac.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Has anyone actually experienced one of these things ever even on a pc? I've mostly not had any security software on any of my machines, but whever I do install some to check the only thing they've ever picked up is themselves. The same goes at places I've worked which have always had security installed, in the last 12 years I've never seen anything come up.

Thats been my experience as well.....i have never had a virus on a Windows computer...ever! I can also say the same for all of my Apple computers as well! I think it is a matter of safely using your computer. I don't ever see the Mac platform having the virus/security problems there are on the Windows platform. But as market share goes up the dark side will write more programs and try more ways of getting Mac users to compromise their machines.

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

Reply

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

Reply
post #22 of 43
"Mac OS X endured 58 separate malware attacks from April 2011 to December 2011, a small fraction when compared to Microsoft's Windows operating system, according to a new summary from a security research firm."

First line of column. 58 is NOT a small fraction. It is a number. The RATIO of OS X to Windows malware attacks is a fraction.
post #23 of 43
In New Zealand I hear they call the smaller variant (3.5") stiffies.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

... But as market share goes up the dark side will write more programs and try more ways of getting Mac users to compromise their machines.

I don't think that's a real threat... more likely, as Macs trickle down to less-educated people, the chances of Mac users harming their systems by reckless behavior will become higher... but even that is not very feasible, since OS security has become a lot more reliable on all systems during the past ten years.

I also haven't used or needed any antivirus protection in the last 5 years, and am always very curious of people who have encountered viruses. How do they get them? Where?
post #25 of 43
I did a quick search for some numbers about windows and came across this:

http://www.gdatasoftware.co.uk/about...r-viruses.html

The last numbers are for the first half of 2010 but i think it gives a very good indication and a conservative estimate of mine would be around the 2 - 3 million mark for all of 2011.

2,000,000 / 58 = 34,482

So thats how many times more NEW threads are affecting Windows..

I DO feel sorry for them.. now back to my mac


[EDIT] ok i realised now 58 was only April - December, but i think you get the point..
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by seltzdesign View Post

I did a quick search for some numbers about windows and came across this:

http://www.gdatasoftware.co.uk/about...r-viruses.html

The last numbers are for the first half of 2010 but i think it gives a very good indication and a conservative estimate of mine would be around the 2 - 3 million mark for all of 2011.

2,000,000 / 58 = 34,482

So thats how many times more NEW threads are affecting Windows..

I DO feel sorry for them.. now back to my mac

You are right, I have exactly 34,482 times more viruses on my Windows 7 box than you have on your Mac.
post #27 of 43
Maybe it wasn't 58 different threats but only 58 individual computers affected

I wonder how many of them were proof of concept type things - and or never found int he wild - and or never caused any actual harm.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

You are right, I have exactly 34,482 times more viruses on my Windows 7 box than you have on your Mac.

well if your posting comments here, i would take a wild guess that your quite computer literate and therefore dont find it too difficult to keep your windows machine virus free. Unfortunately most people dont even know they should look out.. if you can successfully explain to my mum what a computer virus is and how she can rid of them, or that clicking on an attachment is maybe not the best idea unless you know what it is.. then i will draw my hat to you.

I have a windows machine too and have quite successfully managed not to attract any viruses - at least that i know of.

Since i have non on my mac you must have non on your windows machine.. but watch out as soon as I have one, there will be 34,482 flying your way..
post #29 of 43
I wonder how many of these threats are Adobe Flash and pdf related? We see a constant flow of "critical updates" for these.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Has anyone actually experienced one of these things ever even on a pc? I've mostly not had any security software on any of my machines, but whever I do install some to check the only thing they've ever picked up is themselves. The same goes at places I've worked which have always had security installed, in the last 12 years I've never seen anything come up.

So your computers are the ones that keep sending me spam!
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Based on the flawed concept of security through obscurity Mac OS should have some viruses by now and iOS should have a lot more.

Remember, these are malware threats in the form of trojans not actual viruses.

Yep, I'm happy to see that they at least called it malware and pointed out that they were trojans. I've seen way too many places where this would be called 'viruses' just to make the headline more exciting. Though even so, I'm sure we'll see comments like that here too.

Download and install (generally with admin permissions) random crap from the internet and ANY platform can be at risk.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Has anyone actually experienced one of these things ever even on a pc? I've mostly not had any security software on any of my machines, but whever I do install some to check the only thing they've ever picked up is themselves. The same goes at places I've worked which have always had security installed, in the last 12 years I've never seen anything come up.

I had malware (adware) get installed on my wife's machine by her cousin who was installing various file-sharing apps. When you'd bring up a web page, click a link, and suddenly have random ad windows pop up, that was irritating and it was sucking 100% of her CPU as well. (Well written? ) I didn't wait for a root kit to show up, but got her off of Windows too since she does the banking online and I have just moved to a Mac anyway.

However, my brother, his wife, and my parents have all had their Windows boxes totally taken over - as in 'why is my outbound internet traffic so heavy?' or 'hey, one of the multiple virus scanners I have is saying I have a root kit and none of them seem to be able to remove it' taken over.

My parents were quite smart (in a parent sort of way) about system security and were running their XP box on DSL without a firewall - on reinstalling to remove an infection, their machine actually was re-infected before they even were able to update virus definitions. My sister-in-law had her Win7 laptop rooted just a few months back - it was the USB thumb drive exploit you may have read about after grabbing files from a machine at her school and bringing them home.

So... no, I don't think I ever had 'real' malware in my home, but people getting this crap is definitely more than anecdotal.
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Thats been my experience as well.....i have never had a virus on a Windows computer...ever! I can also say the same for all of my Apple computers as well! I think it is a matter of safely using your computer. I don't ever see the Mac platform having the virus/security problems there are on the Windows platform. But as market share goes up the dark side will write more programs and try more ways of getting Mac users to compromise their machines.

geekdad, if you go back to the article you will see the statement from the researchers:

Quote:
"As we correctly predicted back in May, Mac malware has not scaled continuously due to market share..."

in fact with the introduction of OSX, the incident of virus/trojan impact dropped precipitously compared to the previous MacOS6/7/8/9. Apple used to ship anti-virus software with Macs because there were as many virus vulnerabilities in those earlier OS versions as there were on Windows. And that was with only 1-2% of the PC market. Anyone remember the classic macro-viruses?

So as the researchers indicated, we can shoot the whole "security through obscurity" meme in the head and let it rest in peace. With millions of Macs in use, you cannot convince me that hackers aren't out there drooling over being able to farm that virgin territory. But as Windows security increases that creates pressure across other platforms, so you will see spikes in phishing, social hacking and other "softer" hacking modes.

But hey, we haven't heard from the flock of Windowz apologists who are normally lurking in the eaves here...

DISCLAIMER: I am Microsoft certified and have financial interests in both Apple and Microsoft
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post

This

and this

.

Sorry, the lower image is of a 3.5" hard disk according to my mom. Of course, someone who "runs Google" on her machine using "the E" isn't the one you may want to turn to for tech advice.
post #35 of 43
I once had a guy hide all the files in his User folder....on purpose.
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBFromOZ View Post

what is a floppy?

A failed porn actor.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Go into the BIOS and enable PATA or IDE mode under SATA operation mode.

Won't let me. The only place I can get is a RAID BIOS utility, and it only has one hard drive. I've tried absolutely every method of getting into that submodel of that model's BIOS. It just doesn't work. Thanks for the help, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

But why would you want to though? Just pop XP into VMware on the Mac.

Because he doesn't have a Mac.

It has a CD drive, so even if I wanted to install Seven to get around the SATA problem (it's way too slow for that), I couldn't. I have a disc of Windows 98 laying around, but something tells me that won't work, either. No concrete proof, mind, just a hunch.

Oh, and I've discovered that even if I COULD find my old hard drives, that wouldn't matter. There's only one ATA port on the motherboard and only one ATA port on the ribbon cable in it and that goes to the CD drive. So it would be between putting in the OS disc and having a hard drive on which to install it.

It's like The Gift of the Magi, except I want to punt this thing into the snow with my bare feet, not caring that most of my toes would be broken along the way.

It was built for him by some shady guy that does all manner of illegal activity (so he's loaded beyond belief) so I imagine that's how he managed to have a brand spanking new-style motherboard with a PENTIUM FOUR on it and a SATA drive with XP installed magically somehow.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

A failed porn actor.

Or a swim in the North Sea.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Thats been my experience as well.....i have never had a virus on a Windows computer...ever! ....

This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of computer malware. The purpose of most computer malware is not to make geekdad's life difficult. Their purpose is to enrich their authors. Obviously, there are malware titles that will clearly damage your computer experience and performance. They are the work of amateurs. Professional malware may reside on your computer for an extended period of time without your knowledge.

If you are certain that your Windows PCs have never had viruses, then prove it. Boot your Windows PCs from an external drive and scan them for viruses. You don't have to report back because I know the result.

As for the claim but F-Secure, it would be interesting to read its definition of threat. Every claim of new MacOS X malware receives breathless coverage by Mac-oriented sites like this one and clucking by Windows fanboys. If there had been 58 new malware threats in 2011, there there would have been more than one new threat per week. There was not even a rumor of a new threat per week.
post #40 of 43
Gee, I've learned more about how to reinstall Windoze XP here than anything about Mac Viruses.

The graphs that are shown should be bar graphs rather than filled in area graphs. When you look at them, you see the area under the curve where in actuality these graphs are made from a few points of data over a wide time scale. This leads to an greatly inflated impression of reality. Two widely spaced data points do not make an area.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mac OS X
AppleInsider › Forums › Software › Mac OS X › Mac platform faced 58 malware threats from Q2 to Q4 2011 - report