If you still think your Mac is immune to malware and malicious infections then it’s time to stop kidding yourself. The recent Flashback trojan has proven that these a real issue for Apple’s desktop operating system, and as long as Mac OS X continues to grow, so will its infections.
But Apple is now working to prevent them. It issued a fix for the Flashback infection after it became apparent just how huge it was, and the Cupertino company is now teaming up with security specialists Kaspersky to identify other vulnerabilities.
Nikolai Grebennikov, Kaspersky’s CTO, has revealed to Computing.co.uk that “Mac OS is really vulnerable,” and that “Apple recently invited us [Kaspersky] to improve its security.” Grebennikov says that Kaspersky has now begun an analysis on Mac OS X’s vulnerabilities and the malware that’s targeting them.”
However, despite the partnership, Grebennikov wasn’t too complimentary about Apple, criticizing its lack of “seriousness” when it comes to security, which paved the way for Flashback to spread. Grebennikov blamed Apple’s decision to block Java updates from Oracle:
Apple blocked Oracle from updating Java on Mac OS, and they perform all the udpates themselves. They only released the patch a few weeks ago – two or three months after the Oracle patch. That’s far too long.
Grebennikov also made a rather surprising statement about iOS:
Our experience tells us that in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, we will see the first malware targeting iOS.
Because of Apple’s “closed” approach to iOS, which sees every app vetted and approved before making its way into the App Store, it seems it would be extremely difficult for hackers to get their malware onto our iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads. One would assume that the only iOS devices immune to malware are those installing apps via unofficial sources through jailbreaking.
With Apple now working alongside Kaspersky to fight Mac infections, we’re hoping that future vulnerabilities are ironed out quicker than they have been in recent years. We may even see Kaspersky’s security solutions baked into Mac OS X as standard, but that’s purely speculation on my part.