On the Cover
Apple changes tune on vulnerability
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00
Written by Staff writer
Apple has changed the marketing message on its Web site to acknowledge that its computers are not immune to viruses. The Mac maker changed the wording on its “Why you’ll love a Mac” page from stating “It doesn’t get PC viruses” to “It’s built to be safe”.
The same page also used to state “Safeguard your data. By doing nothing” to just “Safety. Built In.” Senior technology consultant for Sophos, Graham Cluley, says he views the changes in Apple’s message as important baby-steps.
“Clearly, they’ve decided that pointing out the size of the Windows malware problem isn’t going to look terribly convincing, unless they are also open about the fact that Mac malware exists,” says Cluley, referring to the recent Flashback virus that infected 600 000 Macs. “In short, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” According to Cluley, a recent analysis by Sophos found that 2.7% of Macs that downloaded the security company’s free anti-virus were found to be infected with Mac OS X malware. “The problem may not be as significant as Windows malware, but it exists.”
“Let’s hope more Apple Mac owners are also learning to take important security steps – such as installing anti-virus protection.”
Apple has also recently released a security guide for iOS users and has added a new feature called “Gatekeeper” to its Mountain Lion OS that will restrict which apps users can install on devices.
Following the recent Flashback attack on Apple, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, was widely quoted as saying “Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security”.
Apple was dragged over the coals for its slow response to the security fl aw in the Java Web platform that was exploited by the Flashback virus.
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