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Mac OS X increasingly target of hackers

Posted on Monday, December 31 2007 @ 00:16:19 CET by

Due to its increasing popularity more and more hackers are shifting their aim at Apple's Mac OS X operating system:
Is it time to panic? No, actual attacks against Macs and the rest of the Apple family, such as the iPhone, are still rare. But as the platform becomes more and more popular, hackers are gearing up to do damage. You???d better protect yourself.

Most Mac users take security too lightly. In fact, most are quite proud of the fact that they don(t run any security at all, says IDC analyst Chris Christiansen. That(s an open door; at some point it will be exploited, he says.

First some numbers: In 2006, the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) tabulated 106 vulnerabilities in Apple???s Mac OS X. (It defines vulnerabilities as a weakness in the code that could be exploited to perform unauthorized, and generally harmful, functions by the application.) In the first six months of 2007 there were 78 vulnerabilities found in Mac OS X. Windows XP (all flavors), meanwhile, had 55 vulnerabilities in 2006 and 19 in the first six months of 2007. Vista, which wasn't available in 2006, chalked up 19 vulnerabilities in 2007.

In a sense, Apple is a victim of its own success. Savvy hackers read the same stories and watch the same television programs as the rest of us, and so they are very aware of the burgeoning popularity of Apple's products. Hacking Windows still provides a lot more bang per bug than attacks on Apple, but the smaller rival is a more satisfying target than ever before. And the company's deserved reputation for building good products has probably made users overconfident.
Source: Yahoo News



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