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News

Survey predicts that OS X will be the next big target for hackers.

Sophos : 14 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
Overwhelming majority of respondents to Sophos survey believe there will be an increase in malicious code written for Apple Mac computers in the future.
A web poll of more than 350 computer users conducted by IT security and control firm Sophos, has revealed that 93 percent believe Apple Macintoshes will be increasingly targeted by cybercriminals in the future. However, the poll, which took place in the shadow of the discovery of the first financially motivated malware for Mac OS X, also showed that 50 percent do not believe the problem will be as great as that faced by users of Microsoft Windows.

In a similar survey conducted two years ago, only 79 percent of computer users believed that Macintosh computers would become more commonly targeted by hackers, indicating that Apple Mac users are less optimistic about the likelihood of their computers being attacked in the future.

'Although we have seen the first attempts by criminal gangs to make money through Mac OS X malware, there is still only a tiny number of viruses and Trojan horses for Apple Macs when compared to Windows PCs. It seems unlikely that the Mac virus problem will ever be as big as the Windows one,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. 'Yes, the Macintosh malware threat is a concern - but it's important to put it in perspective. Mac users now have the opportunity to prove their smarter than their PC cousins by putting the proper defences in place and stopping the hackers in their tracks. By resisting the urge to click on unsolicited weblinks or to download unknown code from the web, they can help to send a clear message to cybercriminals that it's just not financially rewarding to target Macs.'

For more information on the history and evolution of Macintosh malware, and for advice on how IT administrators can better understand the problem and protect their system, Sophos has produced a podcast entitled 'Big Mac attack or super-sized hype?'. This is available to download from the Sophos web site.

Sophos recommends all companies protect their desktops, servers and gateways with a consolidated solution to thwart the threats of viruses, spyware, phishing, hackers and spam.
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