OS X in 2013 Will Not Be as Safe as It Is Today, Says Panda Security

Cybercriminals to take advantage of Mac users’ over-confidence

Panda Security has released an advisory stating that vulnerabilities will be the main target for cybercriminals in 2013, and that Mac users should exercise more caution starting next year.

Calling Mac owners overly confident about the security of their computing machines, the security firm cautions that malware on the Mac is on the rise.

It recalls the Flashback trojan which infected hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide earlier this year as clear evidence that “not only is Mac susceptible to malware attacks but that there are also massive infections affecting hundreds of thousands of users.”

Mac malware is still nowhere near as abundant as Windows viruses, but Panda expects the scales to tip some more in 2013 as cybercriminals continue to eye Apple systems with a growing interest.

“Although the number of malware strains for Mac is still relatively low compared to malware for PCs, we expect it to continue rising,” says Panda Security.

The security company cites vulnerabilities and the lack of user awareness as the key factors behind potential virus infection.

“A growing number of users added to security flaws and lack of user awareness (due to over-confidence),mean that the attraction of this platform for cyber-crooks will continue to increase next year,” writes Panda Security.

A number of free Mac antivirus solutions have cropped up as of late, including a simple tool called Virus X-Ray which provides free malware detection using VirusTotal filters.

It can pick up the scent of any trojan, backdoor, rootkit, virus, and other types of malware so long as it’s listed in the VirusTotal database.

“This tool can check and send files to VirusTotal service and there scan files by ALL Antivirus Companies,” says BambooBits, the developer.

The software is not a full-fledged antivirus application as it doesn’t provide the tools to actually remove any malicious files.

For example, if you’re already infected, solutions like Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition are far more recommended.

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