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Independent Lab Says Apple’s Mac OS X Platform Vulnerable to Malware

By Aldo Panessidi

An independent evaluation of the Apple Mac OS X platform concluded that the software is “highly vulnerable to malware”, so says the security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Apple Malware OS XKaspersky Logo

In the words of Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolai Grebennikov, “Our experience tells us that in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, we will see the first malware targeting iOS. As Mac OS X market share continues to increase; we expect cyber-criminals to continue to develop new types of malware and attack methods. In order to meet these new threats, Kaspersky Lab has been conducting an in-depth analysis of Mac OS X vulnerabilities and new forms of malware.”

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The company has tried to get this through to Apple before. Kaspersky Lab co-founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky has stated that Apple is a decade behind Microsoft in terms of computer security.

Grebennikov went on to say, “Our first investigations show Apple doesn’t pay enough attention to security. For example, Oracle closed a vulnerability in Java, which was a target for a major botnet several months ago. Apple blocked Oracle from updating Java on Mac OS, and they perform all the updates themselves. They only released the patch a few weeks ago – two or three months after the Oracle patch. That’s far too long.” Grebennikov’s position on the existence of the botnet is that it shows that “Apple’s security model isn’t perfect.”

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Kaspersky Lab analysts have yet to identify any iOS-specific malware, but the company predicts that iPads and iPhones eventually will be infected.

While the security analysis Kaspersky Lab has been conducting is independent of Apple, the two do have a working relationship. Said Grebennikov, Apple “is open to collaborating with us regarding new Mac OS X vulnerabilities and malware that we identify during our analysis.”