“According to one security vendor, Mac users are at a crossroads this year: if they prove to be as gullible as PC users, they will invite more attention by malware distributors,” Liam Tung blogs for ZDNet.
“At a time when spiraling malware threats have bombarded PC users, Mac users have been able to kick back and relax. 2007 saw 5.5 million viruses — including variants — on the hunt for vulnerable PCs, meanwhile threats to Mac users remained minuscule by comparison: two,” Tung writes.
“So far, threats to Mac users have suffered from having convoluted delivery mechanisms, which require a person to take big and careless steps to become infected — not only accepting candy from strangers but then inviting them home for a nightcap,” Tung writes.
“The DNS changing Mac trojan, while dangerous if installed, was one example of a virus undermined by a convoluted delivery mechanism. Unlike threats to PCs, which are increasingly transmitted via stealthily injected code from seemingly innocuous Web sites, this Mac danger relied on temptation, trickery and end-user permission… The other notable Mac scam was the scareware discovered last week — Macsweeper — which attempts to cajole a would-be victim into paying for software that guarantees to find a flaw on the Mac, but otherwise does nothing. Again, a little disconcerting, but I wonder how many Mac users, let alone daft PC users, would have fallen for this one,” Tung writes.
MacDailyNews Note: Those are not viruses. Computer viruses are computer programs that can replicate themselves and infect computers without permission or knowledge of the user. You know, like with Windows. A trojan is simply an application that tricks users into installing it by promising something other than what it actually does when executed.
Tung continues, “Then again, what constitutes a Mac user — thanks to the iPhone and iTouch — is changing… So maybe, just maybe, if Mac users fail the security test this year, it won’t prove that they are more gullible than PC users, but that the new recruits have diluted the security IQ of the Mac community, as a result of the mass immigration from PC world to Mac world.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: While some might fix our headline to read “growing lesions,” we think that those Windows PC sufferers who have already or will soon be making the switch are the cream of the crop (characterize the overall quality of that crop as you wish).
Of course, as the years go by, we’ll get more and more of the “everyone’s buying Macs now, so I will, too” types who will download malware, authorize its install, and run it. There is no way to protect a computer from an ignorant user. So, yes, our collective IQ will suffer someday (the price of success), but, on the bright side, the Mac community will continue to have the brightest and most creative users, as always.
As we often advise Mac users (and this goes for Windows PC sufferers, too): Do not install anything from unknown and/or untrusted sources.