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Mac malware
Authored by: stottm on Apr 12, '12 02:36:10PM

Anti-malware software does not work and it hasn't worked for a long time. Out of the 25 or so Mac Anti-Virus applications, I doubt that many actually detected and stopped any of the Flashback variants! Even in big enterprise environments, it is our advanced network packet analysis and threat protection that alerts us to infections. We haven't seen the enterprise AV software stop much except really old malware.

It is smarter to remove or disable third party code engines such as Java and Flash. i.e. disable Applets and Flash from running automatically. New Mac's don't even ship with either installed. Most mainstream sites have stopped using Java Applets and even Flash is going away in favor of HTML5 solutions. This is mainly so iPads will work.

Restrict your dangerous web surfing activities to an iPad where you are much less likely to get infected. Heck, I use the iPad more for surfing than I do my PC or Mac's anyway.

The Flashback malware originally tried to fly under the radar as long as it could. If a Mac had AV software it self-destructed on that Mac so as to not be detected. The authors were trying very hard to go unnoticed by the security community.

Apple released a Java update 003 today and it includes an automated removal tool so even if someone was still infected, once they run this update the infection is removed and the Java vulnerabilities fixed. No user interaction required other than installing the updates.

Apple needs a trip-wire system that can validate authenticity of OS files and they need to update their open source and third-party gravy more often. i.e. all the BSD open source utilities and software plus Java, etc. Get Oracle to distribute an OS X version of Java and stop customizing the Oracle code. Mac OS X is worlds better than Windows when it comes to exploits and the spread of worms. But they need to get more serious about security. They have strayed a bit too far from their NeXTStep / OpenStep roots, too many compromises have resulted in security risks.

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