Risk
11/23/2010
12:13 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2208
Published: 2014-12-28
CRLF injection vulnerability in the LightProcess protocol implementation in hphp/util/light-process.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 2.4.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands by entering a \n (newline) character before the end of a string.

CVE-2014-2209
Published: 2014-12-28
Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.1.0 does not drop supplemental group memberships within hphp/util/capability.cpp and hphp/util/light-process.cpp, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging group permissions for a file or directory.

CVE-2014-5386
Published: 2014-12-28
The mcrypt_create_iv function in hphp/runtime/ext/mcrypt/ext_mcrypt.cpp in Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) before 3.3.0 does not seed the random number generator, which makes it easier for remote attackers to defeat cryptographic protection mechanisms by leveraging the use of a single initial...

CVE-2014-6123
Published: 2014-12-28
IBM Rational AppScan Source 8.0 through 8.0.0.2 and 8.5 through 8.5.0.1 and Security AppScan Source 8.6 through 8.6.0.2, 8.7 through 8.7.0.1, 8.8, 9.0 through 9.0.0.1, and 9.0.1 allow local users to obtain sensitive credential information by reading installation logs.

CVE-2014-6160
Published: 2014-12-28
IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) 8.5 before 8.5.0.1, when Chrome and WebSEAL are used, does not properly process ServiceRegistryDashboard logout actions, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by leveraging an unattended workstation.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.