Computer Crime Research Center


Cyber crime not confined to Microsoft - Sophos

Date: January 23, 2008

IT security and control firm, Sophos, has published its Security Threat Report 2008, examining the threat landscape over the previous twelve months, and predicting emerging cybercrime trends for 2008.

The report reveals that in 2007, organised criminal gangs arrived at Apple’s doorstep with the intention of stealing money for the first time. With proof that hackers are extending their efforts beyond Windows, Sophos is warning computer users of all operating systems not to be complacent about security.

Sophos experts note that malware for Macs has been seen before, but until recently organised criminal gangs have not felt the need to target Mac users when there are so many more poorly protected Windows PCs available. However, late last year saw Mac malware not just being written by researchers demonstrating vulnerabilities, or showing off to their peers, but by financially-motivated hackers, who have recognised that there is a viable and profitable market in infecting Macs alongside Windows PCs.

For example, many versions of the malicious OSX/RSPlug Trojan horse, first seen in November last year, were planted on Web sites designed to infect surfing Apple Mac computers for the purposes of phishing and identity theft.

"Now is a good time for Mac users to prove that their computer decision was, in fact, a smart one. If they fail to send a clear message to hackers that it is not financially rewarding to target Macs by, for example, not clicking on unsolicited Weblinks, or downloading unknown code from the Web, there is a chance that more cybercriminals will decide that it is worth their while to develop malware for Macs during this year,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of master Sophos distributor, NetXactics.
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