The Flashback malware threat that recently plagued Mac computers opened a lot of eyes to the fact that Apple’s computers may not be secure as their users have always believed. The Flashback malware attacked users’ Macs by means of a flaw in Java that allowed it to install on users’ computers without their knowledge. Apple ultimately dealt with the problem by releasing a tool that would remove it from infected computers, but not before the malware netted its creators as much as $10,000 per day in stolen ad revenue.
The result of the Flashback threat has been to draw increased attention to the security situation of Mac computers. One recent study found that as many as 20% of Macs are carriers for Window-targeted malware, while security firm Kapersky Labs recently claimed that Apple was a decade behind Microsoft in terms of security.
The situation apparently got Apple’s attention, as well. According to Computing, Apple has asked Kapersky to analyze the security of OS X and make recommendations to improve it. Nikolai Grebennikov, Kapersky’s CTO, said that OS X is “really vulnerable,” and that Apple “doesn’t pay enough attention to security,” noting that the Java vulnerability that allowed Flashback to infect Macs had been patched by Oracle months before the outbreak, and Apple hadn’t bothered to release an update for OS X.
For the moment, Kapersky will only be working on OS X, though Grebennikov foresees similar security issues with iOS in the next year or so, unless Apple takes further steps to secure the platform.