Is this the tip of the metaphorical iceburg?
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Thread: Is this the tip of the metaphorical iceburg?

  1. #1
    Member tsunami's Avatar
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    Is this the tip of the metaphorical iceburg?

    Is the new macarena virus the start of malware authors targeting OS X.

    With their market share increasing, and the Intel Macs selling very well, does Apple now pose an attractive target for virus writers?

    http://www.theregister.com/2006/11/06/mac_osx_virus/

    http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/ne.../macarena.html

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    In a word "NO"

    Malware is now written with commercial intent, and that is not like in the old days of trouble makers.

    Windows still has 90% of desktop/home deployments and will remain the prime target. It is not about operating systems, it is actually about number of "targets"..........................and the one with the most generally has the most stupid as well
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    I would hesitate to say no to anything related to security. Does apple pose a threat to virus writers, I would say yes. Is it the primary, no. Like nihil had mentioned it is about user base and the Windows market is the leader there. Personally if I was an author for viruses I might look at the apple market knowing that hardly anyone with an apple own an antivirus application it would seem to be an easy target.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi, Spyrus

    I would not describe MAC OS or Linux as "threats" to malware authors. They are more of an "unexploited opportunity", and possibly a technical challenge?

    Now, I would suggest that most Apples are deployed in much the same environments as their PC counterparts, so they represent an equally desirable target.

    The problem with Apples is that they are far less numerous, and their users tend to be rather more computer savvy than the average PC user. So, from a malware author and users' viewpoint the PC is by far the most numerous population of "targets" and has the most desirable "quality" of user

    I guess that if I was a malware author looking to expand my horizons, I would look to Linux/Unix and go after servers, where those OSes are proportionately more numerous compared to Windows, than in the desktop arena.

    After all, if you get to own a server, you get the chance to go after whatever is networked to it?

    Just my 0.02
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
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    Hey nihil,

    Just a quick comment on your thoughts about apple users. You mention:
    The problem with Apples is that they are far less numerous, and their users tend to be rather more computer savvy than the average PC user.
    Isn't the Apple primarily designed with the "ease" of use for the non tech savvy buyers? That's what I understood from the latest Mac commercials comparing Macs to PCs (with the actor from Accepted).

    I would think that Windows is the primary target for it's market share, but also for it's known issue that almost everyone is logged in as Administrator, while Linux users log in as a User and only Root for system changes, and my understanding is that Apple functions in the same way (I've never used one, so making a conclusion on what I've heard from others use of Macs)

  6. #6
    Member tsunami's Avatar
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    Its interesting to see what everyone has said.

    Yes, Windows has the biggest market share (not a big surprise to most people), and therefore more viruses , worms, and trojans are written for it.

    However, we (i work for an AV company) are seeing more and more malware being written to attack specific organisations, or for a very specific task.
    It looks like the days of the mass mailers, and extremely quick spreading worms are over.

    The really attractive targets now are those that can make the author money.
    Ransomware for one, and trojans to cause a DoS on a companies servers so that a competitor can profit from it.

    I would think that the next big target is going to be something like Office 2007 with its new file formats (basically zip files with an xml file index). Office 2007 will use the same file format as OpenOffice, so this makes for a possible way in (if an exploit is found) on multiple OSs.

    Im slightly off topic now i know, but if you want a target, then you cant get much better than infecting all the machines on a network regardless of OS, rather than just the Windows ones.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    tsunami,

    If it is allowed, plese PM me with the name of the AV company you work for. Only so I can make sure you are on the list of people to be informed of things that I come across.

    You are quite right about the specific and "commercial" nature of malware........

    Yes, I think that applications are as much a target as operating systems, these days?

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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