Macs get bugs

Written by Brett Thomas

February 20, 2006 | 17:59

Tags: #bluetooth #bugs #mac #virus

Companies: #intel #symantec

Yes, you read that right...Mac OS X has officially had not one, but two viruses within one week.

According to, amongst other sources, the viruses are listed as fairly harmless but existent nonetheless. The first virus simply replicates itself via iChat, posing no actual harm and is thought to be a "proof of concept" worm. The second infects the Bluetooth operation of the Macintosh platform, though with no actual ill effects.

Both worms are thought to be nothing more than a purely academic exercise by someone, simply showing that Macs can indeed contract viruses (most likely spurred on by recent MacIntel discussions). However, it certainly points out that the system is indeed vulnerable to the canny coder, which is worrisome indeed.

Symantec's lead security specialist Vincent Weafer considers this his moment to bring out the brass band and issue an "I told you so." With the MacIntel move expecting to increase the market share of OS X dramatically (up from its current 4%), Weafer cautions Mac users to be diligent.

"We have speculated that attackers would turn their attention to other platforms, and two back-to-back examples of malicious code targeting Macintosh OS X this week illustrates this emerging trend," he said. He further elaborated that the code "Could be easily modified by a future attacker to do damage."

Many leading antivirus and security software companies do not even employ a full-time Macintosh specialist. Somehow, I doubt that trend will continue. Now that the concept has been proved, it is surely only a matter of time before we start seeing other, more malicious programs attempting to exploit the system, especially with the growing mindshare of the Mac platform.

So is the market share increase going to net Macintosh a part of the lion's share of Virus attention given to Windows? Let us know your thoughts on the buggy matter in our forums.
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