Apple Inc. was so confident of the security of its platform that it ran a comparison between Mac OS X and Windows OS X platforms to tout its tough security.
However, the Mac are not 100% impervious to attacks. On Wednesday, 22 July 2015 a German code expert – Stefan Esser – uncovered a bug in the Mac OS X. This flaw in the system allowed hackers to infiltrate iOS computers and act as the administrator. Apple Inc. left the security flaw active for 4 months, and users were subject to attack until the next OS X became available – El Capitan. The bug that Stefan Esser discovered resulted in all sorts of adware and malware making its rounds in Apple computers. Unfortunately, Apple knew about the problem and did nothing for many months. The German coder revealed the problem to the world and it was exploited by hackers.
Viruses Attack Mac Operating Systems through No Code Signing Certificates
While many folks blithely believe that Mac computers cannot be hacked, there are many security flaws that can be exploited. For the most part, Mac is safe, and viruses are the exception to the rule. It’s entirely possible that Mac can be infected with adware, malware, and Trojans, but the inherent malware detection and file quarantine features of Mac make that far less likely. This ensures that malicious software will not run on a MacBook. The Mac OS 10.6 introduced Snow Leopard for detecting malware.
This program quarantines any App that does not use a code signing certificate. These certificates verify the legitimacy of an app. The software will prevent malware from being opened, and the user will have the option to move to trash. It is imperative that Mac operating systems are regularly updated with the latest security updates for system data files. Most malicious software will be prevented by doing this, but these measures alone cannot guard against all threats. That’s why it’s important to install the latest antivirus software for your Mac. Antivirus software offers additional layers of protection absent in the Mac construct.
Worst Viruses and Malware on Mac
Over the years, there have been many instances of Mac infection. These viruses never gained much traction with the mass media, since most people use Windows operating systems. Nonetheless, here are some of the Mac infections that have been reported:
- OS X/Leap infected Mac through Apple iChat in 2006. This Trojan-worm combination infected applications with toxic code making them unusable.
- OS X/DNSChanger from 2007 – 2009 were Trojans that made the switch from personal computers to Mac. They mimicked video codecs for porn watchers. Once they infected the Mac system, they would alter the DNS to drive traffic to dangerous websites.
- OS X/Krowi in 2009 delivered complimentary pirate variants of Adobe Photoshop and iWork 09 for iOS computers. This malware delivered backdoors into Mac computers and allowed hackers easy access with no password needed.
- OS X/MacDefender in 2010 was rogue software with multiple new variants released as soon as Apple Inc. released patches for the malware. The scareware was exceptionally difficult to remove, as it attached to the launch menu of the computer with no dock icon visible.
- Mac Flashback Trojan and the Trojan BackDoor.Flashback.39 were some of the most malicious viruses to affect Mac. Hundreds of thousands of Apple laptops were infected by this malware.
Top Mac Antivirus Software Offers Additional Layers of Protection for Users
One of the best no-frills antivirus software programs on the market is BullGuard. This antivirus software offers a Mac-friendly option with many antivirus software features. These include a firewall, encrypted cloud backup, parental controls, vulnerability scanner, and more. The actual antivirus setup can take up to 20 minutes to complete, owing to all the virus definition updates. The range of removal tools and detection tools is substantial and all known viruses are targeted. The software can detect all malware programs on your Mac, and it offers wide ranging security against viruses.
Unlike other virus scanners, your MacBook will not be slowed down while you’re using this program. It’s effective against adware and spyware and it stops all these problems before they destroy your MacBook. The advanced firewall protection is great for guarding against forced attacks on your MacBook. This is only available in the premium protection program of the software. BullGuard is an effective solution to all the threats currently making their rounds on Mac. There aren’t a whole lot of advanced features with this antivirus software, but upgrades are always available.