Trojan disguised as a pdf attacking Macs

Last friday, researchers at the security company F-secure announced that they’ve found some new malware for Mac. As of now, they know that the trojan opens pdf file to distract the user while it installs a back door.The pdf contains chinese text of a political nature, that is said to be offensive to some.

While it is not impossible to get viruses and malware on Macs, there is a general understanding that you don’t have to worry about it as much. Some naively think that this is because Macs are more secure. In reality, the Mac OS can be just as easily hacked as Windows.

The reason that Mac feels safer than Windows is simply because there aren’t as many malicious programs and viruses being developed to attack Mac. Windows PCs hold 90% of the market, and are therefor the bigger target. A hacker has very little monetary incentive to go after Mac because they hold such a small chunk of the market. No wonder earlier this year on the official Internet Explorer blog they stated that “1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware” (Robert McMillan).

The few hundred pieces of malware found for Mac certainly seem insignificant compared to the nearly 2 million pieces found across the market (wired.com). However, most Mac users don’t utilize anti-virus programs because they feel they don’t need to. Because of this, even though there is much less malwar out there that could infect them, they’re much more vulnerable to attack.

So this newly discovered pdf Trojan is concerning. It’s just another sign that as Apple’s share of the market grows, the target on Macs will only get larger, and more needs to be done to protect and educate their users.

[For more info on this specific Trojan]

 

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3 thoughts on “Trojan disguised as a pdf attacking Macs

  1. The fact that there are new threats on macs isn’t surprising, like you said since Apple’s share of the market grows so will the threat for Macs. I don’t own a mac and I don’t think I will own one in the near future since they can be quite expensive and I simply cant afford one; but protecting your computer is something everyone can relate to. I think that mac users should just be more careful while using their computers, the amount of viruses/malware will only increase and they need to be more aware of it. Do you use a mac? If so how would you rate its security?

    • I do. I’ve never ran into any problems and I do feel much more secure browsing websites and downloading content from the internet, however I also probably take more precautions with my computer than the average user. When I first got my mac, I was definitely guilty of the uninformed false sense of security though. That’s why I think that it is important as Apple’s presence in the market increases, to not only provide greater security, but also increase the awareness of security issues like this. Especially if Apple is not going to provide the protection within the OS, users should be informed so that they can take the necessary precautions and download their own 3rd party anti-virus software.

  2. I don’t own a Mac so I can’t really state my opinion about Macs and their security features. However, something I found extremely amusing about this post was the fact that 1 out of 14 downloaded programs on Internet Explorer is confirmed as malware. I just think it’s just hilarious how insecure IE is and yet how many people still use it. In my opinion. I also don’t understand why it’s so hard for Microsoft to improve the security of their own Internet browser, maybe they will with this statistic publicly announced… (Haha, like that will happen…)

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