One in five Macs harboring Windows malware - report

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Windows malware is so prevalent that a new study has found it quietly present on 20 percent of Macs, dwarfing the number of Apple machines infected with actual OS X malware.

The details come from a sampling of users who downloaded the free Mac antivirus software from Sophos. Among the 100,000 Macs reviewed by the security firm, 20 percent of them were carrying one or more instances of Windows malware.

The firm noted that Windows malware on Macs will not cause any symptoms, unless users utilize Apple's Boot Camp software to run Windows in addition to OS X.

While one in five Macs were found to have Windows malware, just 2.7 percent of machines studied by Sophos were infected with malware specifically tailored to OS X. And nearly all of that malware ??75.1 percent ? came in just one form: "Flshplyr," a variant of the "Flashback" Trojan.

Sophos believes that Mac owners should be "a responsible member of society" and ensure that their system is not infected with any Windows malware. This could help to stop the spread of such software, even if its presence on a Mac has no effect on that user.

Sophos


As for Mac-specific malware, Apple's OS X operating system recently saw its greatest threat ever in the form of the Flashback Trojan. At its peak, the malware was estimated to have infected 600,000 Macs worldwide earlier this month.

Presence of the Trojan has since been limited after Apple released a Java update to rid machines of Flashback less than two weeks ago. In addition, for those who don't have Java installed and could be harboring a dormant version of the malware, Apple also issued a separate removal tool.

Flashback was first discovered by the security firm Intego last September. The software attempts to trick users into installing it by appearing as Adobe's Flash Player installer package.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,985member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The details come from… … Sophos.


     


    Stopped taking it seriously right there.


     


     


    Quote:



    Sophos believes that Mac owners should be "a responsible member of society" and ensure that their system is not infected with any Windows malware.



     


    I'll spread what I want to spread, thanks. Be it jams, jellies, or malware that can't hurt me.

  • Reply 2 of 56
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


    A Mac running Windows via Boot camp can become infected with Windows viruses. Is this supposed to be news to someone?



    And I really wish they'd stop with the 600,000 figure. That has been shown to be a very questionable figure in the threads where it was discussed.

  • Reply 3 of 56
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    “Infected?” Do they mean “sitting in your un-emptied spam mailbox”? Infected these Macs are not! It’s like saying one in five children have a rust problem because they got rained on today.


     


    All that’s need to responsibly NOT pass on to your contacts an infected email attachment from some stranger is to NOT pass on to your contacts an infected email attachment from some stranger. Which you wouldn’t do anyway, even if you thought it was “harmless” junk mail.

  • Reply 4 of 56
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    A Mac running Windows via Boot camp can become infected with Windows viruses. Is this supposed to be news to someone?



     


    How would malware on the mac partition affect the bootcamp partition?


     


    I think someone wants to sell some anti-virus software.

  • Reply 5 of 56
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 228member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


     


    And I really wish they'd stop with the 600,000 figure. That has been shown to be a very questionable figure in the threads where it was discussed.



     


    Its funny how they don't mention that it only took 9 days for the "infection count" to drop to under 30k http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/19/kaspersky_says_mac_flashback_infections_have_dropped_to_30k.html


     


    I think Apple is handling the problem pretty effectively and it highlights how quickly Mac users are patching their systems.


     

  • Reply 6 of 56
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 228member


     


    "One in five Macs are harboring Windows malware "


     


    Sharing is caring! Spread the love! ;)

  • Reply 7 of 56
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,079member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    “Infected?” Do they mean “sitting in your un-emptied spam mailbox”? Infected these Macs are not! It’s like saying one in five children have a rust problem because they got rained on today.


     


    All that’s need to responsibly NOT pass on to your contacts an infected email attachment from some stranger is to NOT pass on to your contacts an infected email attachment from some stranger. Which you wouldn’t do anyway, even if you thought it was “harmless” junk mail.



     




    actaully it is those stupid .exe file that get downloading in the background when you sent to some stupid spam site. I kids Mac has tons of these .exe file in their download folder for Safari. These hacker website do not even bother to determine if it a PC that actually access their website. Not sure why Sophos care since there is no way for those file to get from your mac to a PC without that person actually sending them.

  • Reply 8 of 56


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post


     


    "One in five Macs are harboring Windows malware "


     


    Sharing is caring! Spread the love! ;)



     


    Best comment ever in the recent life of the non-news stories of the Mac Trojans. 

  • Reply 9 of 56
    softekysofteky Posts: 127member


    Interesting crosscheck...


     


    If the 600,000 figure is accurate (and, as suggested by the originator's, has not diminished substantially) and 2.7% of machines are infected with "Flshplyr" then providing "Flshplyr" comprises the vast majority of current "Flashback" infections, there are currently 22.2 million active MacOS X machines out there.


     


    Since the current number of active Macs is closer to 80 million (four times as many as would be derived from the given infection stats) then the following is true:


     


    "overestimation percentage of machines infected with 'Flshplyr'" times "overestimation of 600,000 infected Macs" equals approximately 4.


     


    In other words, if the 600,000 number is accurate then the "Flshplyr" percentage infections should be closer to 0.8%.


     


    (sticks neck out and awaits choppage)

  • Reply 10 of 56
    enjournienjourni Posts: 254member


    lol @ "please don't infect our windows machines with your mac!"


     


    No, actually I think I'll keep my mac infected... that way more windows machines will crash. I love the sound of windows crashing in the morning. image

  • Reply 11 of 56
    What anti-virus software do you all recommend? (or none?)
  • Reply 12 of 56
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Conrail View Post


     


     


    How would malware on the mac partition affect the bootcamp partition?


     


    I think someone wants to sell some anti-virus software.



     


    That's not what they said. They said that 1/5 of Macs have Windows Malware and that Boot camp is involved. I don't see anywhere that they said that the Mac side infected the Windows side.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post


     


     


    Its funny how they don't mention that it only took 9 days for the "infection count" to drop to under 30k http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/19/kaspersky_says_mac_flashback_infections_have_dropped_to_30k.html


     


    I think Apple is handling the problem pretty effectively and it highlights how quickly Mac users are patching their systems.


     



     


    Either that or, far more likely, the numbers were bogus to begin with.

  • Reply 13 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,985member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by oyaron View Post



    What anti-virus software do you all recommend? (or none?)


     


    Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nyet. Nein. Nope. Don't. Bother.

  • Reply 14 of 56
    asciiascii Posts: 5,533member


    The scary thing is Boot Camp makes your Mac partitions readable to Windows by default (thankfully not writable, but still).

  • Reply 15 of 56


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




     


    I'll spread what I want to spread, thanks. Be it jams, jellies, or malware that can't hurt me.



     


    How about Polio or HPV?

  • Reply 16 of 56
    bearbear Posts: 27member


    I hope Sophos paid for this advertisement.

  • Reply 17 of 56
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,545member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


     


     


    That's not what they said. They said that 1/5 of Macs have Windows Malware and that Boot camp is involved. I don't see anywhere that they said that the Mac side infected the Windows side.


     


     


    Either that or, far more likely, the numbers were bogus to begin with.



     


    eh, naw..


     


    What they said :


     


    The firm noted that Windows malware on Macs will not cause any symptoms, unless users utilize Apple's Boot Camp software to run Windows in addition to OS X.


     


    SO, if you utilise Bootcamp and you have windows malware somewhere on OSX you WILL be infected.  Thats a bit of a fucking leap, but its what they said.


     


    Then they said




    While one in five Macs were found to have Windows malware, just 2.7 percent of machines studied by Sophos were infected with malware specifically tailored to OS X. And nearly all of that malware ??75.1 percent ? came in just one form: "Flshplyr," a variant of the "Flashback" Trojan.


     


     


     


    1 in 5 macs in the study apparently had windows malware on them, this has nothing to do with bootcamp.  They were stating, as per their original point that Mac users unknowingly were carrying windows malware, not that they were running it etc.


     


     

  • Reply 18 of 56
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 987member


    I don't care. I don't run Windows.


     

  • Reply 19 of 56
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,163member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    “Infected?” Do they mean “sitting in your un-emptied spam mailbox”? Infected these Macs are not! It’s like saying one in five children have a rust problem because they got rained on today.



     


    The comment is a bit of FUD because it implies that Windows malware can actually harm a Mac machine and it can't. It can only perhaps play carrier to the malware and spread it on to other machines. 


     


    But here's my question. This information came from an anti-virus software company yes. So how do they know this. The answer to that would be that they can recognize windows malware even if it is merely incubating on a Mac machine. So why haven't they set up their software to find and remove it. They talk like it is there allowed to run free thanks to the stupid Mac users. but isn't the real fault that they haven't done anything with their software,which folks were 'responsible' enough to install. 

  • Reply 20 of 56
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member


    19301004.jpg

Sign In or Register to comment.