Macs are vulnerable to malware

The biggest vulnerability to Macintosh computers is the belief among their devoted users that Apple's superior operating system makes them immune to malware, experts say.

"Some Mac users have this perception that the Mac is free from hacks, and that is completely wrong," said Zheng Bu, senior director of research for FireEye, which develops antimalware products.

Last year, the Flashback Trojan malware infected an estimated 600,000 Macs by appearing to be a browser plug-in but actually stole personal information. In February, Apple said Macs operated by Apple employees were infected with Java-related malware when they visited a software development website.

One of the biggest threats to Mac users is third-party software, such as Java, a popular vehicle for cyber thieves to infect Windows and Mac machines by writing only one attack code. In such cases, simply visiting an infected website that exploits a Java vulnerability can enable malware to get onto a Mac.

Adobe software is another vehicle used by hackers to infect computers.

Five ways to make Macs 'safer'

1 Accept software updates from Apple and third-party vendors as soon as they become available. These often include security patches.

2 Do not click on unexpected attachments, even from emails that appear to be from people you know.

3 Do not click on suspicious links.

4 Be careful about clicking on links on Facebook or Twitter from someone who appears to be a friend "offering" photos of you.

5 Consider using antivirus protection software for Macintosh computers.

Kevin Haley, Symantec director of product management for security response.

Macs are vulnerable to malware 03/31/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 31, 2013 6:24pm]

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