A new Mac malware has been found in the wild that allowed attackers to steal data and install unauthorized apps on a compromised machine. What makes this malware different than other recent Mac malware, though, is that it breezes right past Gatekeeper… and the people behind it might have been gunning for the life of their malware victim.
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A new piece of Mac malware has been discovered. The virus installs itself as “macs.app” and silently takes screenshots to then upload to shady servers. It doesn’t appear to be very widespread at the moment.
The malware was uncovered on an African activist’s Mac at the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual event dedicated to “exploring how best to challenge authoritarianism and promote free and open societies.”
According to the security company’s research, Android is still the main target when it comes to mobile malware writers, but iOS is technically a more vulnerable platform.
The latest App Report from research firm Appthority has found that free apps downloaded onto iOS devices are more likely to collect your personal data than free apps downloaded on Android, with 60% of the top ten App Store downloads sharing data with advertising and analytics networks.
The report suggests that due to the volume of titles in the App Store, iOS developers are more likely to collect your data and pass it on as an alternative revenue stream.
Hot on the heels of Oracle’s own update, Apple has released a Java for OS X 2013-001 software update for download that addresses the software vulnerability that compromised a number of their employees’ computers.
One of the biggest reasons I switched from Windows to a Mac all those years ago was OS X’s supposed immunity to malware and viruses. I’ve quickly discovered throughout 2012, however, that my Mac isn’t as safe on the Internet as I’d been led to believe. A new report from antivirus experts Sophos today highlights that.
The company’s Security Threat Report 2013 declares 2012 to be the year of “new platforms and changing threats.” Hackers are switching their focus from Windows to other platforms, including Mac OS X. Today’s biggest target, however, is Google’s Android platform.
Following the Flashback malware scare this spring, Apple is stepping up its focus on security and malware protection in Mountain Lion. The release notes for the latest Mountain Lion developer preview include references to a “new Mountain Lion Security Updates system” that checks for security updates on a daily basis, uses a more secure connection when communicating with Apple’s update servers, and can install required updates automatically when a Mac is restarted.
Based on the release notes for the system, Apple is making the security update process automatic and has designed it to runs as a system process rather than a user task. Presumably that means it will function without a user logged in or while non-admin users are logged in. All in all, that’s similar to Microsoft’s Windows update feature and a good thing for users.
That doesn’t mean that this setup will be great fit for businesses, schools, and other organizations with large Mac populations.
MacKeeper is a strange piece of software. There may be no other app as controversial in the Apple world. The application, which performs various janitorial duties on your hard drive, is loathed by a large segment of the Mac community. Check out any blog, site or forum that mentions it, and you’ll find hundreds of furious comments condemning MacKeeper and Zeobit, the company behind it. We discovered this ourselves earlier this month, when we offered a 50%-off deal on MacKeeper. Look at all those furious comments on the post.
The complaints about MacKeeper are all over the shop: It’s a virus. It holds your machine hostage until you pay up. It can’t be completely removed if you decide to delete it. Instead of speeding up your computer, it slows it down. It erases your hard drive, deletes photos, and disappears documents. There are protests about MacKeeper’s annual subscription fees. Zeobit is slammed for seedy marketing tactics. It runs pop-under ads, plants sock-puppet reviews and encourages sleazy affiliate sites, critics say.
But what’s really strange is that MacKeeper has been almost universally praised by professional reviewers. All week I’ve been checking out reviews on the Web and I can’t find a bad one.
AT&T is one of 48 carriers worldwide which have a network vulnerability that allows hackers to intercept cellular data and inject malicious content into the traffic that passes between smartphones and the websites they visit. The flaw can be used to transfer code to unencrypted pages which causes a user to perform unintended actions, like sending messages or friend requests from Facebook and Twitter. And your iPhone may be vulnerable.
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.