New malware attacks Mac OS X users through Apple Safari browser

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 94
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    If you dislike Chrome, you should consider the new Firefox over Chrome. It has a streamlined interface (I used to hate it), more standards complaint, tabs on top, and more plugins.



    Chrome is just a data mining venture for Google. It calls home repeatedly throughout a session. By comparison, Safari calls home maybe once a month to check for updates. Firefox also calls home, but only if you let it.



    I make these claims based on Little Snitch telling me.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post


    Not that I would have installed this malware when prompted, but the timing is curious. I just switched to Chrome last week and haven't been using Safari. Gotta admit, Chrome's pretty sweet so far.



  • Reply 62 of 94
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Dunno. But the lack of serious issues until now isn't proof that the same security issues may not exist.



    While a bit over the top, this article notes another sneaky trojan may be on the way to Apple machines. Apparently a hacker "beta test" of a security flaw?

    http://www.dailytech.com/Sneaky+Troj...ticle21018.htm



    That's dancing around the question, IMHO. The closest you can prove something doesn't exist in the computer virus/malware world is to show that people haven't had their machines infected. I've been using Macs for about 23 years and had one infection... about 17 years ago. I don't know of any stories in the past decade or so of people having their Macs infected.



    The whole "security by obscuring is ending" is a slogan I've heard for almost 10 years. I suppose it could come true at some point but it sure doesn't seem like it has yet. Why not?



    By contrast, I had my work Windows machine get infected last year without ever agreeing to instal via password or whatever. It was so bad our Fortune 500 IT department couldn't fully clean it and had to order a new hard disk drive to instal and start over.
  • Reply 63 of 94
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mode View Post


    FireFox 4 > Safari in my opinion.

    I've had sites stall and not work with Safari - but perfect with FF.



    I have more issues with FF. The last couple updates have really slowed down my MacPro. Every time I launch FF, it takes almost 30 seconds of beach ball before it is ready to go.
  • Reply 64 of 94
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    Agree that FF is slower to load with the latest version. I still like it tho.
  • Reply 65 of 94
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    If you dislike Chrome, you should consider the new Firefox over Chrome. It has a streamlined interface (I used to hate it), more standards complaint, tabs on top, and more plugins.



    I missed Safari 4.0 beta having tabs on top. Chrome and Firefox?s tabs on top still takes up more vertical space than Safari 4.x with tabs underneath with the bookmark bars active, the last time I checked.



    For me it?s now a moot point as Lion?s fullscreen apps are turning out to be very useful with the four finger swipes and Mission Control.



    I can?t say I use many plug-ins. ClickToFlash, Ultimate Status Bar, a native H.264 video option, and a Javascript blacklist plug-in are all I use.
  • Reply 66 of 94
    lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 1,047member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Good point. Mac OS can be as easily compromised by smart hackers as any other OSes. Its primary protection is relatively low market share (still). But this will change because of Apple's increasing profile/notoriety. The iOS devices will be targeted too.



    Mac users have to be smart enough to consider the same steps of protection as Windows users, including installing anti-malware programs. Some will arrogantly defend Mac OSX as a fortress against viruses. But that is just not true.



    It can't easily be compromised at all and anyone who says so doesn't understand what is going on.



    If the Mac was so easy to hack then EVERY Linux and BSD box would be so easy as well because the underlying structure, especially with BSD, is relatively the same. If it is attacking Safari then what part is it attacking because it should be affecting WebKit, KHTML, and Chrome and every other WebKit based browser?



    This one doesn't, in fact it doesn't actually attack any browser it's just that Safari's default option to run "Safe Downloads" is causing the problem to be noticed. Personally I turn this feature off.



    No one has actually said what this malware does so we don't even know if it is as bad as it is being made out to be anyway.



    The reason why Macs aren't being affected by malware in particular viruses is not because of low market share because there is a huge share of UNIX based operating systems out there on the market, is because the system is far more secure than Windows. It's trivial to write malware on Windows that can easily propagate without any user interaction and yet it is extremely difficult for that to be the case on a UNIX based system because unlike Windows UNIX was built from the ground up to be fully secure. Windows wasn't because it is built on top of DOS which had NO security at all.



    Look at the security contests that Charlie Miller keeps winning. Windows is being hacked ONSITE whereas the Mac actually has to be worked on two months in advance to find a hole. That's a pretty massive difference in terms of security.



    Can Mac users really be so complacent? Yes, because the threats are so low. 0 viruses for Macs are in the wild and only some dodgy sites which make up such a small percentage of the internet have malware.



    Windows on the other hand can simply be a matter of opening an e-mail... not an attachment but just the e-mail can install a virus.



    The biggest threat to any computer system, be it Mac, Windows, *NIX, etc is the person sitting at the desk. PEBKAC - Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. Stop going to the porn sites and the Warez sites and the LOLCats sites and playing dumb quizzes on Facebook and downloading torrents and your machine will be relatively fine. Go to these sites and risk your machine getting infected. It's simple education.
  • Reply 67 of 94
    modemode Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I have more issues with FF. The last couple updates have really slowed down my MacPro. Every time I launch FF, it takes almost 30 seconds of beach ball before it is ready to go.



    Hard to determine which exact sites Safari has problems with. It's random.

    My guess would be that Safari isn't playing nice with Flash - or FF handles Flash better.

    FF also seems to resolve DNS faster - Safari seems to hang for 4 -10 seconds before loading or re-directing at times. This was the main reason I switched to FF. Themes being the other.



    FF4 does load a little slower.

    Don't get the beach ball thou. All I'm running for add-on's and plugs is a customized theme.

    Screams on my MacPro.



    I don't see the same stalling on my iPod, so my guess is Flash might be the culprit.
  • Reply 68 of 94
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
  • Reply 69 of 94
    lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 1,047member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


    You cannot protect everyone absolutely securely. Traffic and safety laws are a good complementary example of this. If everyone follows the rules you will have significantly fewer traffic issues and accidents. However you cannot, practically speaking, MAKE everyone follow the rules 100% of the time.



    Ironically when it comes to rules the opposite is true.



    Rules cause more problems than they are worth. This can be seen with Denmark, England, France, and I think it was Austria. In each of these countries one town acted as a test whereby all the road rules were removed, all the road markings were removed, and all the road signs bar streetname signs were removed. The footpaths were merged with the roads so there was no distinction between pedestrians and cars. The result was a massive drop in crashes. In essence by removing road rules the roads became safer.



    The reason for this was because instead of having rules they had one principle... "You hit someone you're going down".



    Essentially to make things safe you need to hold people accountable for their actions. By having rules you remove accountability and install rights. People demanding their rights to be upheld encroach on other's rights and so everything becomes bedlam.



    It's the same with the Internet. You can't blame the people who make the dodgy site if you visit that site knowing it's dodgy and you get attacked. That would be like walking through a dark alley at night in the baddest part of town and getting indignant when you get mugged. Your actions bought trouble to yourself.
  • Reply 70 of 94
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post


    Ironically when it comes to rules the opposite is true.



    Rules cause more problems than they are worth. This can be seen with Denmark, England, France, and I think it was Austria. In each of these countries one town acted as a test whereby all the road rules were removed, all the road markings were removed, and all the road signs bar streetname signs were removed. The footpaths were merged with the roads so there was no distinction between pedestrians and cars. The result was a massive drop in crashes. In essence by removing road rules the roads became safer.



    The reason for this was because instead of having rules they had one principle... "You hit someone you're going down".



    Essentially to make things safe you need to hold people accountable for their actions. By having rules you remove accountability and install rights. People demanding their rights to be upheld encroach on other's rights and so everything becomes bedlam.



    It's the same with the Internet. You can't blame the people who make the dodgy site if you visit that site knowing it's dodgy and you get attacked. That would be like walking through a dark alley at night in the baddest part of town and getting indignant when you get mugged. Your actions bought trouble to yourself.



    Sometimes rules work and sometimes they don't and it is not always the users fault when something goes wrong with the system. Sometimes they accidentally end up in the wrong part of the Internet.



    <tangent>

    A friend of mine from Oregon moved to Connecticut back in the 80s. Shortly after he moved there his parents and his young niece drove out to the east coast in their motorhome to visit him. He gave them some driving directions. "Once you get across the George Washington Bridge get on i95 North then exit on Exit #9." Only problem was he forgot to say: "Once you reach Connecticut" exit on Exit #9." Exit #9 in NY is a whole different neighborhood, if you know what I mean. They were lucky to get out of there without mishap.

    </tangent>
  • Reply 71 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    What you may not understand is this is exactly the same situation on a Windows machine. The malware doesn't load itself. It requires your acceptance.



    There are Windows malware programs that block this exact attack. Avast is one of those. I suspect that there are solutions for OS x too. Some browsers are also giving you a security alert, or blocking the malware before you're given the option to load it.



    Apparently denying that malware can find it's way into Apple devices just as well as Windows is more important than acknowledging that basic security software may be beneficial to many users of Apple devices.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You're right to bring to my attention that any further attempts to educate users will probably fall on deaf ears.



    Thanks. I made what points I could. No more shouting.



    I suppose that I failed to use language that you were able to understand... No one reading this board is going to fall for the exploit indicated here. Therefore, your foolish shouts of hysteria and doom are being peddled to the wrong group of people.



    I surely admitted that Macs could be victimized, but it would take someone lacking even the most basic skills to load the weapon and pull the trigger on themselves. There is no anti-virus application that will assist this type of user. This has nothing to do with you breathlessly warning all of us here that the sky is falling and we must use your (or your platform's) past failures as a guide to our future experiences on the web.



    This is a social exploit that only works if a user has not set their preference in Safari to not run downloaded files automatically. Apple gave us this preference option years ago, and they assume we know how to check and set our preferences. This is all that Apple could do, and if the idiots falling for this exploit would change that single preference the problem would go away in its entirety, with absolutely no need for anti-virus, your pointless pontifications to the contrary.



    If a problem comes up that is genuinely new and genuinely a problem, then of course I want education about solving the problem, and if Apple is able to, I want them to provide a fix for the problem. The thing with this one is the attack vector is an old one that Apple has actually resolved, if you are interested in knowledge and not simply peddling FUD.



    I pray that I have given you the boon of better knowledge and understanding of my previous post's intent. If not, oh, well....
  • Reply 72 of 94
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post


    Not that I would have installed this malware when prompted, but the timing is curious. I just switched to Chrome last week and haven't been using Safari. Gotta admit, Chrome's pretty sweet so far.



    I just deleted Chrome after it's annoying habit of seeming to show an image of a page with unclickable links (until the page actually finishes loading) and continuous crashes on javascript and Flash heavy pages.



    I gave it a good few months but finally had enough.



    Good riddance to bad rubbish.
  • Reply 73 of 94
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Reading the posts above, a couple of things that Apple could do to protect the average user are to:



    (1) Have the initial setup routine create a separate admin user by default.



    (2) Have the initial setup routine explain to users what this means.



    A computer is the world's best automated teaching tool and Apple won't use it to educate people about what they need to know to use their computer. They have created the idea that a Mac just works, but have forgotten to make it just work.
  • Reply 74 of 94
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    (1) Have the initial setup routine create a separate admin user by default.



    (2) Have the initial setup routine explain to users what this means.



    One minor flaw in step 2. No one cares. It's disgusting and sad, but it's the truth.
  • Reply 75 of 94
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Why is "open safe files" enabled by default in Safari?



    Indeed.



    Secure should be the default, then convenience and speed can come as a user educates themselves, not the other way around.
  • Reply 76 of 94
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    One minor flaw in step 2. No one cares. It's disgusting and sad, but it's the truth.



    I think the approach should be that your Mac is safe to use and, if you want to fiddle, then there's a clear place to go to learn about it.



    Computers are used to make learning about all sorts of subjects fun, except for how to use your computer. It's weird, though it does comply with my general view that computer people are the worst users ( and designers ) of computers.
  • Reply 77 of 94
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    Indeed.



    Secure should be the default, then convenience and speed can come as a user educates themselves, not the other way around.





    If this is selected, Safari automatically opens the types of files listed, but it won’t open software programs.



    So the user has to be clueless at least three times:



    Pay attention to the bogus instructions on the site

    Double click the application installer in the downloads directory once it unarchives

    Disregard Apple warning that application came from the Internet

    Enter the admin password

    Then the icing on the cake is to give them your credit card number

    Of course ignoring the fact that it is not an SSL site.



    Not really a stretch at all for many, many users. Really sad.
  • Reply 77 of 94
    scaramanga89scaramanga89 Posts: 207member
    Let's face it, Safari is a bit balls. Even the most avid fan has to admit it's way down the list of browsers for anyone that uses a wide variety of sites. It still won't let me list items on eBay without signing in three times and randomly losing my listing. Not to mention it only allowed the font and colour changes about 4 months ago.
  • Reply 79 of 94
    ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    What you may not understand is .... <snip>



    Apparently denying that malware can find it's way into Apple devices just as well as Windows is more important than acknowledging that basic security software may be beneficial to many users of Apple devices.



    And maybe what you don't understand... Is all new viruses, malware, or "whatever" types of attacks are caught in hindsight by all those so called protective antivirus/maleware programs wether on the Mac or on Windows. You are not protected with them until the malware is recognized and you have download new virus definitions for it. Unless you're lucky or very net savvy, it's too late. So what good are they for?



    As a Mac user, I don't think not wanting to put software that will surely slow my Mac down and possibly create conflicts with its normal programs when the antivirus won't even protect me until after the damage is done. Window users aren't protected either but they're so paranoid, thanks to Microsoft's past security failures, they believe these antivirus programs are needed to protect them from a new attack. NOT!
  • Reply 80 of 94
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jawcl View Post


    Wow, someone was in a big hurry when they typed that code. It says "2,3 MB" when there should be a "." in between those numbers. And there are other errors, who is going to believe this?



    Perhaps they were European, or targeting Europeans.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_separator



    Quote:

    The following examples show the decimal mark and the thousands separator; the lists are ordered chronologically, by when each country adopted the use:



    In Albania, Serbia[citation needed], Bosnia, Estonia, France, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and much of Latin Europe as well as French Canada: 1 234 567,89 (In Spain, in handwriting it is also common to use an upper comma: 1.234.567'89)[citation needed]



    In Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and much of Europe: 1 234 567,89 or 1.234.567,89. In handwriting, 1˙234˙567,89 is also seen, but never in Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden or Slovenia. In Italy a straight apostrophe is also used in handwriting: 1'234'567,89.



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