Mac OSX, Not Virus Free

Nothing is safe, not even Macs

Steve Smith talks about MAC OSX and how viruses are actually a problem, and goes further into explaining that, virus immunity is not a valid purchasing decision, usage is.

Episode #5-10 released on November 14, 2014

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It hasn't been 5 years since we have had commercials from Apple telling us how it is safer than Windows, had no viruses, or malware. Apple claimed to be more secure, and for years we believed them. After all, Windows has millions of viruses and iterations of viruses, and Macs can run without an antivirus. Many people swear by Macs, claiming how it is better than a PC, when the fact of the matter is, it is technically the same. The hardware inside varies very little from a PC. Macs are, also, running a version of BSD, an operating system in the same family as UNIX and Linux. Which could, also, be run in your PC, probably not their locked version, but the base version of BSD, at any case.

Now, while it is true that Macs have very little to worry about in terms of numbers of viruses and malware, there is a very disturbing issue at hand. For the most part, if you have a group of people convinced they are secure, they may very well be the cause of their own demise. Many infections in the Apple world occur because users are convinced that they are safe, and that is wrong.

Once a group of malicious programmers have the hardware, they can produce viruses to attack the hardware. With Apple sales going up all the time, and the number of iOS devices augmenting, as well as, Mac OS X devices being sold and used, they are painting a larger target on themselves. Not to mention that you can usually presume that owners of these devices tend to be more financially secure which makes them better targets, in general.

To make my point, this episode will talk about 5 of the biggest virus issues affecting Apple Computer in recent memory.

Let's talk about the current threat of 2014, Wirelurker, a virus that is MAC OS X based that can, also, hop onto your iPhone, and consequently, iPads, but is said to be dealt with, said to be China only, but wait, that is neither proven or confirmed. This virus is designed to collect personal and sensitive information and knows when iOS devices are connected.

Another virus in the Mac space, in 2012, the Mac Flashback virus, had infected users, claiming 600,000 mac computers as a part of a massive bot net, most of the computers being in North America, and using a well-known open source plugin, Java, it was able to infect more than half a million computers, with no issues what so ever.

And, in 2011, finally, MACDefender rogue virus, a type of scareware, attempted to phish users into installing fake Mac security software, just to push adult content pop-ups, and force users to upgrade the software to clean the system.

2009, the OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B Trojans gained access to computers of users wanting to illegally obtain iWorks 2009 and Adobe Photoshop CS4, and was designed to steal usernames and passwords to create the iBotNet. Just to point something out, 1 out of every 4 illegal torrents is a fake, statistically speaking.

And finally, in 2008, a virus code named OSX.RSPlug.D Trojan, which mascaraded itself as a video codec on adult web-sites, and opened a backdoor allowing itself to download other files, normally how full blown viral infections in Windows occurs.

And as a final note, Steve Jobs, and many others for years proclaimed the Macintosh to be immune to viruses, being a platform that is both stable and secure. Virus after virus has eroded that trust so much, that as of 2012, Apple has no longer ever stated their devices to be virus free or explicitly immune, despite the larger masses of fan boys, and girls, continuing to chant this proclamation.

This is by no means an episode that strictly shows how Macs are insecure, but actually an indication to a deeper issue. Unlike your conventional PC user, who is well aware of the dangers of viruses online, knowing fair well he is constantly at risk, many Mac users are ill prepared, especially those who have never experienced the torment of infection, and some users act in a way that is irresponsible, and dangerous. The biggest single threat to the safety of any computer, including Macs, is the user itself. Do not open file attachments from emails, do not download files for programs you did not explicitly want and search for, scan all files and programs before running, and never run in admin mode, except to install known clean applications. That is all, and have a safe time online.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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