Skip to main content

Mac spyware, malware and viruses are trending upward - Be aware

Mac defender Trojan

With last week's release of the Mac Defender Trojan Horse program the incidence of Macintosh-based spyware, malware and viruses is trending upward. All Mac users, myself included, should be on the look out for these nasty programs, but they need not be quite as fearful as Windows users -- at least not yet.

Malware is an all encompassing term used to describe trojan horse program (which try to fool you into taking some action), spyware (which looks to steal your information or take over your computer) and viruses.

Macintosh computers have not been a large target for malware creators, mainly due to the fact that they have been only a small percentage of the computer market. They are not, nor ever have been, immune from malware, though. Back in my days as an IT staffer back in the early 90's we were plagued with, thankfully benign, yet troublesome Mac viruses such as nVir and wDEF.

That said, Mac user have had a decades long reprieve from malware attacks, compared to the horrible state of Windows malware. Even today, I do not yet feel the need to run an anti-malware program on my Macs, but that time could be coming to an end. As I advise all of my clients, you need to be aware of and on the lookout for, malware that might start to attack the Mac platform.

As of today there are few pieces of Mac malware that can infect you on their own. Mac Defender is a trojan horse program that requires you to take the action of installing it. While there are security holes found every day, many of them are patched quite rapidly. That said, no amount of patches or even an anti-malware program can protect us against ourselves. If you decide to install a program that is a Trojan Horse, you are giving that program full rights to your computer. This is why it is so important to not install software on a whim. Make sure you know what you are installing BEFORE you press the button. Dealing with the aftereffects of an infection is always much, much worse.

So, as I have advised for years, practice "safe computing". Be aware of the threats out there, but don't panic. I'll make a point of posting here in TechnologyIQ when new threats appear so you can be as informed as possible.

More information on Mac Defender Trojan Horse

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Audio: Social Networks - LIVE from the Library Internet Seminar - November 8, 2007

This night we talked about social networks, the Writer's Guild Strike, traditional media and the future of new media. Listen to this seminar Links discussed in this seminar: MySpace - Add me as a friend in MySpace Facebook - Add me as a friend on Facebook LinkedIn - Connect to me on LinkedIn YouTube - Watch my videos on YouTube Ning.com Jott.com Garden Fork TV The Minimalist with Mark Bittman quarterlife Blogger.com Wordpress.com Mixergy.com The Wish Book Holiday Podcast Project

This DIY domino clock tells the time using three LED-lit tiles via Arduino Blog

After coming across Carbon Design Group’s Domino Wall Clock, which uses electronic magnetic coil motors to reveal white dots, Instructables member “Kothe” decided to create a simplified version of their own. The clock is comprised of three custom dominoes — the first tile for hours, the second and third for minutes. Unlike its inspiration, Kothe’s device uses addressable RGB LEDs as dots that allow for a variety of colors to shine through. Read This DIY domino clock tells the time using three LED-lit tiles via Arduino Blog An interesting link found among my daily reading

Onion Pi makes your web traffic anonymous via Open Electronics

Hmmm, might be an easy (and relatively cheap) way to play around with Tor and learn a bit more about this anonymizing service. -- Douglas Adafruit’s Onion Pi is a Tor proxy that makes your web traffic anonymous, allowing you to use the internet free of snoopers and any kind of surveillance. Follow Adafruit’s tutorial on setting up Onion Pi and you’re on your way to a peaceful anonymous browsing experience. Tor is an onion routing service – every internet packet goes through 3 layers of relays before going to your destination. This makes it much harder for the server you are accessing (or anyone snooping on your Internet use) to figure out who you are and where you are coming from. Read Onion Pi makes your web traffic anonymous via Open Electronics * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs ** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! An interesting link found among my daily reading