Mac OS X attacks to become more common, say 93 percent of survey respondents

Share this article:
An overwhelming majority of end-users surveyed believe Apple's Mac platform will be more widely targeted by cybercriminals in the future.

Ninety-three percent of the 350 respondents to a survey conducted by Sophos, an anti-virus vendor, said they think attacks on the Mac OS X operating system will become more common.

However, half of those polled said that malware will remain a bigger headache for Windows users than Mac aficionados. Only seven percent of respondents said that cybercriminals would continue to ignore OS X.

The results were revealed three months after the first trojan targeting OS X was found.

A survey conducted by Sophos two years ago found that 79 percent of end-users thought OS X would become a more frequent target of malicious hackers.

“Although we have seen the first attempts by criminal gangs to make money through Mac OS X malware, the fact of the matter is that there is only a tiny number of viruses and trojans for Apple Macs when compared to Windows PCs. It seems unlikely that the Mac virus problem will ever be as big as the Windows one,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Yes, the Macintosh malware threat is a concern – but it's important to put it in perspective.”

Last November, researchers found what they believe to be the first professionally crafted in-the-wild malware targeting the Mac operating system.

The trojan, a DNS changer that can be used to hijack search results and divert traffic to the hacker's website of choice, was spotted on numerous pornography sites. Attackers had attempted to navigate users to the malicious sites through comment spam posted on Mac forums. The trojan posed as a QuickTime plug-in.

Sophos revealed last month in its Security Threat Report that for-profit attacks on Mac could become more common in 2008 because of the platform's increasing market share.
Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Study shows how attackers make use of websites existing for less than 24 hours

Study shows how attackers make use of websites ...

Looking at the top 50 of parent domains that produced websites existing for less than 24 hours, researchers with Blue Coat Security Labs observed that 22 percent were malicious.

Phishing campaign lures victims with models' photos

Two nude models' photos reeled in unsuspecting victims who handed over their Facebook logins to gain access to adult material.

IBM projects 2014 bug disclosures may hit three-year low

IBM projects 2014 bug disclosures may hit three-year ...

The number of disclosed vulnerabilities is on track to fall below 8,000 this year, a first since 2011.