Malware on the Mac. To some it is as fanciful an idea as dragons or honest politicians. To others it’s a growing concern.
Just to be up front about things I drive both Mac and PC. I use both in my home office on a regular basis and there are different things I like about each. Unlike many of the starry eyed Mac fanbase I don’t see it as a perfect platform. An excellent one, yes. A perfect one, no. The idea that Macs are impervious to viruses and malware is one I frankly find laughable.
I’ve long said that as Mac consumes more and more market share it would eventually attract hackers and their ilk. You see there is a heavy element of ego involved with the efforts of most hackers, and since Windows machine make up the vast majority of the computers in use it is easy to see that the most widespread chaos could be caused by going after that OS.
Mac’s increased market share is probably behind the recent Mac Defender scare. Malware for the Mac has now arrived and the public is slowly becoming aware of it.
Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica brings us the money quote in her recent piece on the subject:
In fact, users should remain cautious even without MAC Defender on the loose, warns repeat Pwn2Own champion and security expert Charles Miller. He pointed out that we Mac users are no more secure than our Windows-using counterparts, and that we’ve just been getting lucky up until this point.
“Mac OS X is no more secure than any other operating system. It has vulnerabilities, and it will let you download and run malware,” Miller told Ars. “The difference is that there simply isn’t that much malware written for it. The bad guys have focused all their energies at Windows, which makes up the vast majority of the computers out there. However, as market share for Macs continues to inch up, that equation is going to change and bad guys will begin to focus in on Macs, if that hasn’t already started to happen. And as I mentioned above, Macs are no more inherently secure than Windows, so when the bad guys decide to go after them with gusto, it’ll get ugly fast.”
It is about a subject I’ve long been fascinated by, the blurring of lines between media channels and types as it all becomes digital media. During my three years blogging for the NAB I wrote extensively about this effect as pertains to radio’s evolution onto Internet and mobile platforms. Empower’s new project takes it much further looking at all of the media channels are they converge upon the iPad era.
So now for the good part, a quick conversation with Kevin Dugan. Just click the play button below.
As a quick coda take three and a half more minutes and check out their intro video. I promise it won’t hurt.
I think it’s going to be quite interesting to watch this over the next year as I believe the effect he speaks of is going to do nothing but accelerate. What do you think? Leave a comment here, and go check out No Channels while you’re at it. The conversation over there is just getting started!
This makes an especially pertinent follow up to my column last Thursday on SixEstate, more ruminations on the subject of privacy in the Internet age. Brian Solis did a great job with this report for PeopleBrowsr, give it a once over and let me know your thoughts.