Researchers Said About 1 Percent of Macs Was Affected
Given the millions of Windows PCs that have been infected in the past by such malware as Conficker, the 600,000-plus may seem small, according to researchers at security software vendor Intego. However, with an installed base of between 60 million and 70 million, that means about 1 percent of all Macs worldwide have been compromised, they said in an April 7 blog.
So one in 100 Macs is infected, they wrote. Its clear that we are faced with an unprecedented attack of Mac malware.
Mac users belief of the invulnerability of their systems makes the threat even more serious, according to security experts.
Most Mac users have grown accustomed to the lack of malware reported on Apples devices, many of which do not have any additional layer of protection implemented on their system to protect against possible cyber-attacks either, researchers at security software vendor Bit9 wrote in an April 4 blog.
Apple officials last week issued two patches aimed at addressing the vulnerabilities, which lie more with issues in Oracles Java than in Apples operating system. The problem arises because Mac users can download Java onto their systems. But the problems for Mac usersand others who are using such Apple Internet-connected devices like iPhone and iPadsis that as these products grow in popularity among customers, they also will become more popular to cyber-criminals.
Already there have been numerous attacks on Macs over the past year, such as the Tsunami and Revier/Imuler Trojans, and the Mac Defender fake antivirus program.
"This latest wave of infections is a wake-up call to Mac users that their system is not immune to threats," Mike Geide, senior security research at Zscaler ThreatLabZ, said in an email after the April 3 patch was released. "And the need to follow best security practices, such as remaining current with patches, is ubiquitousit doesn't matter if you're using Windows, Mac or even [a] mobile phone."