Security Slideshow: Flashback Trojan: What CIOs Need to Know About Mac OS X Security
By Don Reisinger | Posted 04-18-2012
There's been a longstanding myth that just because you're not running a Windows PC, you'll be safe from viruses and malware. In reality, that's just not the case. Regardless of whether it's a Mac, Windows PC, or iPhone, no one is ever safe. The sooner your users accept that, the better off you'll be.
The Mac Flashback Trojan, a malware strain that at its peak had infected more than 600,000 computers, puts to rest any lingering myths about the relative security of Macs versus PCs. On the surface, 600,000-plus infected computers may not look like much when compared with the millions of Windows PCs that have been hit by malware in the past, but it represent more than 1 percent of Macs in use worldwide. And, some security experts say that as the popularity of Apple Internet-connected devices--not only Macs, but also iPads, iPhones and iPods--continues to grow, so will interest from scammers. Apple already has seen a rise in the attacks on its systems over the past year, including the Tsunami and Revier/Imuler Trojans, as well as the Mac Defender fake antivirus program. The flaw exploited by Flashback in March was not in the Mac hardware, but in Java that users had downloaded onto their Macs. Oracle had patched the Windows PC version weeks ago, but Apple--which doesn't let third parties update Apple systems--didn't sent out the patch until April 3. CIOs who are trying to grapple with user demand for Macs and other Apple products in the workplace can share some of these six important lessons with their users and their IT colleagues from this recent infection.