Mac owners, I think the honeymoon is close to be over. What I mean is that the relative obscurity that we’ve enjoyed by being under the radar for malware authors won’t last forever. A couple weeks ago a piece of malware covertly installed itself onto my Windows partition while I was searching for a driver. Well, looks like a simple image search while using Safari can make the same thing happen to your Mac partition. More info after the break.
I came across information on this threat via a Mac Rumors’ article detailing the threat. Users are reporting the malware install popping up directly on image search results pages, auto-installing (per victims’ claims) on systems with a certain preference flag set.
I’ve always felt it was a disservice for Mac ads to tout “no viruses” or imply “no malware” when there really is nothing intrinsically “safer” about the platform. Some people say “you have to have root access to really do any damage, so unix-based OS’s are safer.” That is only half true. To do major system damage – like reformatting drives – yes you need root access. But, you can do all kinds of havoc through a user’s account – like destroying all their documents and images.
The “we’re safer” argument also falls flat because the reason malware exists isn’t really to destroy your files, but to steal your money.
Mac users: the more popular Macs become, the more frequently and fervently they will be targeted. Be careful.