Computer Crime Research Center


Symantec warns: Mac OS X faces hacker threats

Date: March 21, 2005
Source: ZDNet Australia
By: Munir Kotadia

Security vendor Symantec is warning that Apple's OS X operating system is increasingly becoming a target for hackers and malware authors.

n its seventh bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec said over the past year, security researchers had discovered at least 37 serious vulnerabilities in the Mac OS X system. According to Symantec, as Apple increases its market share--with new low cost products such as the Mac mini--its userbase is likely to come under increasing attack.

"Contrary to popular belief, the Macintosh operating system has not always been a safe haven from malicious code," Symantec said. "Out of the public eye for some time, it is now clear that the Mac OS is increasingly becoming a target for the malicious activity that is more commonly associated with Microsoft and various Unix-based operating systems," the report said.

"Apple Computer has become a target for new attacks… The appearance of a rootkit109 called Opener in October 2004, serves to illustrate the growth in vulnerability research on the OS X platform… The various OS X vulnerabilities allow attackers to carry out information disclosure, authentication bypass, code execution, privilege escalation, and DoS attacks. Symantec believes that as the popularity of Apple’s new platform continues to grow, so too will the number of attacks directed at it," the report said.
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