Something tells me that the fine folks in Cupertino will not be enjoying their Spring break. Yep – Apple has a full-scale trojan virus/malware thingy on their hands, and it appears to be exploiting Macs either exclusively, or more likely, as a matter of sheer convenience.
The “Flashback Virus” takes advantage of an older Java flaw that Apple didn’t release a patch for right away. Once on your system, it goes looking for info (passwords, etc) and then reports back to a central server. The infection percentage is something like 98% Mac OS, 2% “other”. For much more detail, go to: http://www.macworld.com/article/1166254/what_you_need_to_know_about_the_flashback_trojan.html
For YEARS, part of the marketing for Macs touted that they were “safer”, or “virus free”, or at minimum, “didn’t get viruses, like Windows machines…”
And for years, folks who knew a little something about computers and security said, “Hey – while in raw numbers of active viruses that may be true, that’s really a component of marketshare, not necessarily a component of how inherently ‘safe’ Macs are.”
Now, as Macs start to gain marketshare, it makes sense that hackers and the like are targeting vulnerabilities in the Mac OS. For context on the marketshare of OS’s, go here: http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=9&qpcustomb=0
Apple now has egg on their face, and you can almost hear the security experts coming out of the woodwork to tell you “I told you so!”
What’s worst – Apple has been slow to respond. This was a known flaw, with a known fix since February. Apple has only recently (in the past few days) released patches to secure up their software. They seem to be as shocked as everyone else that the marketing of their “safe” and “virus free OS” may have been flawed.
It serves as a great reminder that the more people use your software, the more issues you’re going to hear about. If you release a site or app that’s used by 10 people, odds are you’ll never hear about its flaws. However, if you add a few zeros, and your site/app is used by millions, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the problems you’ll hear about.