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

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014


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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 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?!
  • Reply 2 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".
  • Reply 3 of 43
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 4 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.
  • Reply 5 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.
  • Reply 6 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
  • Reply 7 of 43
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    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
  • Reply 8 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.
  • Reply 9 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?
  • Reply 10 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?
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 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.
  • Reply 13 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.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JBFromOZ View Post


    what is a floppy?



    This
    and this
    .
  • Reply 15 of 43
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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.
  • Reply 16 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 ;-)
  • Reply 17 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,775member
    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"
  • Reply 18 of 43
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,570member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,775member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    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.
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