Mac Security Hype

mac-virus-trojan

The change in Apple’s security marketing message on Mac website has been the issue of debate in tech circles all around the world. The previously set “A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers…” message under “Why you’ll love a Mac” on the Mac Webpage has been changed now to “built-in defenses in OS X keep you safe from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your MAC.” This change clearly signifies that the company’s trend in terms of security has been changing especially since the Flashback fiasco. There are several other indications from Apple that Mac security will continue to ripen, which is also the need of the time.

 

Flashback to the future

This change in terminology from Apple has sprung from the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan attack, which infected some 600000 machines. While the question, as to why is this a recent phenomenon, has been beaten to death. A more pertaining issue for Apple is the ingress of many stronger attacks in lieu of which the company has been strengthening its foothold like by launching OS X and Safari updates that disable old versions of Flash and restrict the way Java plug-ins launch. These were potential routes for attackers to penetrate through previously but Apple is minimizing risk by paying attention to all security details.

 

Another addition has been made to the upcoming OS X Mountain Lion as the “Gate Keeper” feature that is meant to ensure keeping your Mac malware free.  Apple is also limiting the actions that a program can perform on the PC by requiring developers to sandbox applications. This conjoined by Gate keeper, will ensure that the areas susceptible to attack are minimized. Gate Keeper will also allow for restricting application usage based on the origin of that application, for example, users will be able to set OS X to allow only those applications that are obtained through a trusted source or Mac App Store. Even the users who choose to allow apps from all sources will be prompted to allow the app before it could access personal information like contacts, calendar, etc.

 

Secure, Safe and selling it

Traditionally, Apple has held back from dispatching any security information and while the trend is not about to change completely, at least the patching will be much more refined in the future. OS X Mountain Lion Security Update test 1.0 consists of daily checks for security updates and also the function to install these updates automatically and upon shutdown. These updates will aid Apple in identifying and dealing with threats easily.

 

Apple is continuing on adding some security features as standard in its OS like the prior FileVault that used to encrypt only a home folder as compared to the new File Vault 2, which would allow full-disk encryption.

 

Apple is known for being user/consumer-oriented and for its general hostility towards any threats. However, the recent security setbacks have shown the people how these threats have made god bleed. Now if such attacks were to continue then eventually people will start losing their faith and trust. Apple will however, strive harder than ever to maintain its position at the center of its consumer base and signs are showing that they will have their foothold stronger than ever in no time.

 
About the Author – Stella Rebecca’s major effort has revolved around latest gadgets and security software, including http://www.blackberryspy-software.com/

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