A closer look at Mac OS X threats

Methusela Cebrian Ferrer CA - HCL

Most users believe in the contention that every Mac is secure [1]. Although over the years we have seen different pieces of research and proof-of-concepts that have demonstrated various areas of insecurity in the Mac, still this notion exists. The skeptics' relentless campaign that Mac threats are a myth is perhaps due to isolated incident of real attack.

Apparently, this does not stop attackers from deploying experiments especially since this platform is enjoying an increasing popularity. The question now is whether these attacks pave the way to a new level.

This paper describes and outlines the changing OS X threat landscape as observed and reported by affected users. It aims to provide an overall picture as to how these threats strategize to get into users, their attack vectors and distribution techniques.

As we track down real infection reports, we will examine and take a closer look at certain families of OS X malware that have evolved as they continuously improve to accomplish the desired result.

By looking at what is in the past and present, we will draw conclusions and recommendations as to how these threats affect OS X users, the challenges, and what can be expected in the future.

[1] http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/security.html


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