Smug's Not A Bug, It's A Feature, Too

Apple computers have finally reached the market share necessary to make them attractive targets for malware. Apple is now the third largest seller of desktop and laptop computers in the US, accounting for an 8.1 percent share of the market. This week a Trojan-horse  designed to infect Apple's operating system was discovered in the wild. Some security researchers believe that this signals that Apple's total customer base is now big enough to be targeted by thieves, and warn users should expect many more attempts to infect their machines.


"With 2 million iPhones and iPod Touches, it makes sense they will think of them as an evolving market to exploit, and there are a lot of new Mac users who aren't as savvy as Mac's earlier users," said CEO Alex Eckelberry of Sunbelt Software, which sells security software for Windows machines.

But Carl Howe, an Apple analyst at Blackfriars Communications, disputes the security researchers' theories. He thinks that OS X's Linux heritage makes Apple systems less vulnerable to attack than Windows-based platforms. He argues that even if hacking Macs hasn't been profitable in the past, attackers would have done it anyway if they'd been able -- just for the attention.

Please observe --and beware-- the attitude of that analyst for Macs. In his mind, hackers design malware strictly aimed at embarrassing Microsoft and just to get attention. No real criminal wants any attention of any kind. He wants to steal your information and money for as long as possible without detection. This attitude is exactly why Apple users are facing a serious threat. They have been made to feel invulnerable, and are encouraged to continue feeling that way by "experts" like him. Any criminal would jump at the chance to find a large group of potential victims that feel they can press any button with a little Apple on it with impunity. To a criminal, smug's not a bug, it's a feature of the Mac user.

Tags:  Bug, feature, EA, BU