Detection of Mac malware to expand, as realities of mobile malware are laid bare

News by SC Staff

The detection of Mac malware is only the tip of the iceberg, as more is predicted to be found.

The detection of Mac malware is only the tip of the iceberg, as more is predicted to be found.

According to the first State of the Threats Report from AlienVault, the recent detection of the Sabpub and Flashback malware, which exploited a Java vulnerability, proves that just like Windows, the OS is only as secure as the software installed on it.

It said that Mac users have found themselves to be at risk since the emergence of serious malware for OSX, with it using exploits in third-party software to infect compromised systems with Trojans; it said this has resulted in Apple having to respond to the threat of malware on its systems.

The report also found that mobile malware is increasing exponentially, especially on the Android platform. Research by Websense of more than 200,000 Android apps found a noticeable quantity with malicious intent or permissions.

Websense Security Labs' 2012 Threat Report said that while exploit kits and advanced methods to attack Windows systems and the software that reside on this platform exist against the large surface area, new rogue anti-virus dropper files are surfacing for Mac OS as it continues to increase in popularity.

Also, as Android is an open OS where anyone can update an app with malicious intent and repost it in a few minutes, Websense said that the Android environment is rife with security concerns.

Research from mobile analysts Goode Intelligence found that 24 per cent of organisations have experienced a mobile malware infection, an increase from nine per cent in 2010, while only 18 per cent were protecting mobile devices with anti-malware solutions.

Alan Goode, author of the research, said: “The past three years have been extraordinary for mobile and there are no signs of this abating. Smartphones and tablet computers are having a transformational effect on the way that an organisation does business and manages information.

“There is a big question over whether information security professionals can keep up with the pace of change currently seen with smart mobile devices and can manage the risks associated with them.”

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