Whereas Apple develops its iOS with security a part of the process, with OS X development security seems to be more of an afterthought. ‘Bug bounty’ programs are one direction suggested for Apple, but until there is a change in the current approach, the vulnerabilities remain open to any would-be hackers.
At the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco, Wardle gave a presentation titled “Writing [email protected] OS X Malware,” in which he challenges Apple’s OS X developers to change their way of thinking – especially considering that the majority of the malware getting into Macs (now measuring hundreds of thousands) is “amateur, even basic,” according to Wardle.
More advanced Mac attacks, such as the ‘Rootpipe’ backdoor, have been difficult for Apple to patch, and failed ‘fixes’ have been covered by thehackernews.com, computerworld.com, securityweek.com, forbes.com, and others in the first half of 2015.
AV-Test, a leading independent computer security testing firm, recently tested 10 different Mac OS X security software packages (you can read the full report here), writing that:
“The legend that Mac OS X is supposedly invincible is not borne out by the facts. In the aftermath of major attacks by Flashback, the police Trojan Browlock or Shellshock, the number of assaults on Mac OS X continues to increase.”
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