Apple’s image of invulnerability to security exploits is history. Essentially there is no difference between Mac and Windows computers when it comes to security. In fact Mac users might be more vulnerable than Windows users because the belief that “Macs don’t suffer from malware” is so wide spread. In truth, Mac malware exists and its production is proliferating.
Malware – short for malicious software – is an umbrella term that refers to any software program deliberately created to perform an unauthorized and often harmful action.
It’s not always easy to tell if your computer has been invaded and infected with viruses or other malware. If your computer ‘freezes’ frequently, or start running slowly, and/or you see unexpected messages or images those may be symptoms indicating it has been compromised.
If you are a blogger who streams movies then does this sound and look familiar?
Every time I save or update a post or page in my blog, it automatically adds this code/script to the end. I try deleting it, and it just adds it again when I save.
Most likely you have experienced a movie player prompting you to install the Codec-M 188.8.131.52 to watch a streaming movie and complied. What you installed was a Firefox Add-On called “codec-M 184.108.40.206” and you will need to disable if you don’t want to experience this over and over again.
- Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown site, merely in order to use the site, is untrustworthy.
- A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim.
- “Cracked” copies of commercial software downloaded from a bittorrent are likely to be infected.
- Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. No intermediary is acceptable.
Malware targets popular Mac browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, in addition to other apps. Mac OS X versions 10.6.7 and later have built-in detection of known Mac malware in downloaded files and the recognition database is automatically updated daily. However, that protection against trojans is useless against about 85% of the Mac malware that has appeared thus far in 2012, which used Java vulnerabilities and social exploits to install behind the back of the built-in anti-malware protection.
Windows PCs and Macs are equally at risk. If you have the Java plugin and use any of these browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari then your computer is vulnerable. All currently-supported versions of Java, including Java 5, Java 6 and Java 7, contain a bug letting attackers install malware on the system. Instructions for disabling Java in the major browsers can be found on the US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) website.
Related post: Bloggers: Beware of Adware