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Kaspersky says Apple needs to change its approach to updates and patches for its machines

Computer security company Kaspersky Labs said that Apple is at least 10 years behind Microsoft when it comes to security.

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, discussed the security of both PCs and Macs at the Info Security 2012 event. He concluded that Apple's security is far behind Microsoft's, and that Apple will need to change its ways when it comes to updates and patches.

According to Kaspersky, Macs are becoming increasingly targeted by malware due to increased Mac sales. In Q2 2012, Apple sold 4 million Macs, which was a 7 percent boost from Q2 2011. Cyber criminals are starting to notice that these computers are becoming more popular and are easy targets for malware attacks.

Earlier this month, Apple finally admitted that its machines have been prone to malware problems. It has had issues with Flashback trojan, also known as Flashfake. This particular trojan disguises itself as an install Java applet on hijacked sites, and when users approve it, the trojan runs a piece of code that exploits a flaw in Java to remove OS X's anti-malware abilities. It also installs alternative control programs, turning the machines into bots.

"Apple is now entering the same world as Microsoft has been in for more than 10 years: updates, security patches and so on," said Kaspersky. "We now expect to see more and more because cyber criminals learn from success and this was the first successful one.

"They will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago. They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software. That's what Microsoft did in the past after so many incidents like Blaster and the more complicated worms that infected millions of computers in a short time. They had to do a lot of work to check the code to find mistakes and vulnerabilities. Now it's time for Apple [to do that]."

According to Kaspersky, Flashback infected about 600,000 machines worldwide (approximately 3,000 in the U.S.) at its peak where 98 percent of these machines were Macs.

"I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security," said Kaspersky. "For many years I've been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It's always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms."

Source: CBR

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RE: Nonsense
By IronChef75 on 4/26/2012 8:59:50 AM , Rating: 2
Wholeheartedly agree. For this reason it is highly irresponsible for Apple to promote their OS as impenetrable. People stupid enough to believe it are even more likely to behave in a less security conscious manner.

RE: Nonsense
By bupkus on 4/26/2012 9:17:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote: is highly irresponsible for Apple to promote their OS as impenetrable
I'm no attorney but couldn't this be considered a false claim by Apple such that it could be vulnerable to a class action?
Enough people lose enough money doing online banking, etc, with using their unprotected Macs and serious life changing financial losses could precipitate angry litigants.

RE: Nonsense
By StevoLincolnite on 4/26/2012 9:34:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes it could as Apple engaged in false advertising.
Even at the time when they were running those adverts they had infections in the wild.

RE: Nonsense
By tayb on 4/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Nonsense
By kleinma on 4/26/2012 11:01:35 AM , Rating: 5
I think Apple themselves have proved that anything at all is lawsuit worthy.

RE: Nonsense
By yomamafor1 on 4/26/2012 11:24:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, Apple's advertisement was, "Mac doesn't get PC viruses ". Apple has never said anything about Mac not getting any viruses, just that they don't get any PC viruses.

Although that is borderline false advertisement, technically they haven't advertised anything that's not true (other than it being magical). That's why I think Apple marketing team have some of the smartest, most devious people on Earth.

RE: Nonsense
By amanojaku on 4/26/2012 11:40:04 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, Apple's advertisement was, "Mac doesn't get PC viruses.

RE: Nonsense
By inighthawki on 4/26/2012 12:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
While technically it is a PC, their advertising ads over the years have been an attempt to tell users that they are in fact not. Hence the "I'm a PC, and I'm a Mac," implying that there is a difference. If your same ads attempt to advertise that you don't get PC viruses, I don't see any problem because they've clearly stated at the beginning that they are not the same.

RE: Nonsense
By acer905 on 4/26/2012 12:37:49 PM , Rating: 4
If Apple claims that a Mac doesn't get PC viruses... but marketshare analysts like Canalys lump the iPad into the PC world to say Apple has a huge presence in the PC Market, then can you infer that an iPad should get PC viruses? lol

RE: Nonsense
By rika13 on 4/30/2012 3:21:22 AM , Rating: 3
Even that is untrue, macro viruses don't care about little things like operating system or processor architecture. As long as you have a program that can run the macro (like MS Office), it will gladly bring chaos, strife, and ruin. It is also possible to create viruses that execute outside the OS, sorta like a hypervisor, so if said Mac user loads his copy of Boot Camp, gets infected, his OS X stuff gets infected too. It might be possible with such a virus to throw in a second version of the code for multiplying via OS X and Linux and you got a multi-platform virus.

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