Risk
11/23/2010
12:13 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Sophos Sees Macs OS Infected With Windows Sludge

Anti-virus firm Sophos shows that while Macs may be under increasing malware threats, most of the sludge its anti-virus software found targeted Windows systems - Apple users aren't out of the woods.

Anti-virus firm Sophos shows that while Macs may be under increasing malware threats, most of the sludge its anti-virus software found targeted Windows systems - Apple users aren't out of the woods.Sophos has been giving away free anti-virus software for Mac users for a number of weeks now. The company claims to have more than 150,000 active users, and has sampled nearly 50,000 infection reports, from November 2 through November 16th.

Many of the malicious programs found in that analysis, not surprisingly, are Windows-specific attacks that Mac users are getting inadvertently. Perhaps by visiting infected Web sites and having the malware dropped into their browser caches, opening e-mail attachments, or by sharing and copying files by USB drives and other means.

Some of the malware are cross platform attacks, based on Java, while a few are Mac specific. From Sophos' blog late last week:

You'll also notice a lot of Java-based attacks in the list, these are obviously cross-platform and may have been found in internet caches by users who were hit by a drive-by attack. Many of these might have been designed to download further Windows-based attacks to computers, but they could easily be adapted to download Mac-based threats too.

You'll also see some Mac OS X-specific malware in there (OSX/Jahlav and DNS Changer). These are well known Mac Trojans that are typically disguised by hackers on BitTorrent sites, or planted on websites as alluring downloads or plugins to view videos.

Does this mean Mac users should rush out and install anti-virus software on their systems? Probably not. That is unless they are undertaking known risky activities such as visiting BitTorrents and downloading or viewing questionable software.

That means anti-virus software today is still a choice Mac users have to make, balancing risk and convenience. However, as Mac-based viruses grow in complexity, numbers, and efficiency - it's a luxury that may be lost soon.

The only caveat I'd have to that is that if your Mac is on a local network, your local users could be placing you at increased risk. So keep that in mind.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3541
Published: 2014-07-29
The Repositories component in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote attackers to conduct PHP object injection attacks and execute arbitrary code via serialized data associated with an add-on.

CVE-2014-3542
Published: 2014-07-29
mod/lti/service.php in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via an XML external entity declaration in conjunction with an entity reference, related to an XML External Entity (XXE) is...

CVE-2014-3543
Published: 2014-07-29
mod/imscp/locallib.php in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a package with a manifest file containing an XML external entity declaration in conjunction with an entity referenc...

CVE-2014-3544
Published: 2014-07-29
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in user/profile.php in Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the Skype ID profile field.

CVE-2014-3545
Published: 2014-07-29
Moodle through 2.3.11, 2.4.x before 2.4.11, 2.5.x before 2.5.7, 2.6.x before 2.6.4, and 2.7.x before 2.7.1 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code via a calculated question in a quiz.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio