Security software vendor Sophos has issued a call to all Mac users, urging them to install virus protection programs, as financially-motivated cybercriminals are now seeing Macs as hot, profitable targets.
Graham Clueley, a senior technology consultant with the renowned security firm, recalls
the Flashback botnet situation that occurred earlier this year, noting that Sophos’ free antivirus product found malware on 2.7% (one in 36) of Macs.
Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition also found “a plethora of (less dangerous) Windows-based malware,” Cluley says.
The security researcher says that 75% of the Mac malware his firm found on Mac computers was associated with the Flashback botnet. “There's little sign of it now, however, as the latest stats from SophosLabs show,” he reports.
However, there are new threats in the wild now. These include (but are not limited to) fake antivirus programs and malware posing as fake video codecs. Thousands of infections are reported back to Sophos each week, says Cluley.
“Of course, that doesn't mean that these are the only threats to be wary of - as some attacks have seen malicious hackers using new techniques,” he blogs. “[Although] the Mac malware situation has been worse than it is now […] you shouldn't be complacent,” reads Cluley’s expert advice.
The security guru argues that, “Financially-motivated cybercriminals are targeting Macs, exploiting the fact that many users have poor security in place compared to their Windows cousins, or no protection at all.”
Cluley ends his post urging everyone who owns a Mac to install an anti-malware solution; preferably the one Sophos has on offer as a free download for home users. He sounds darn serious about it ,too.
“Mac users - please get an anti-virus, for goodness sake,” writes Cluley. “If you don't want to pay for one, there is free anti-virus for Mac home users available for download. (Seriously, there's no catch, no strings attached). Stay safe,” he concludes. Download Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition (Free)