19 May 2011

Mac attacks have long been predicted

In 2008, Adam O’Donnell used game theory to determine that once Apple ownership reached a certain percentage of market share, cyber criminals would begin targeting Mac OS users more frequently.

Today, that prediction has come to fruition. O’Donnell said that once Apple reached a 16 percent marketshare, cyber criminals would begin increasing their attacks toward the operating system.

Researchers at an internet security company recently said that there is a new Mac Trojan causing issues for Apple owners. The malware construction kit for Mac OS is currently targeting three countries - the United States, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Although not the first attack against Mac owners, the Weyland-Yutani bot - named after the corporation in the 1979 movie Alien - is enabling cyber criminals to implement attacks more quickly than previous malware.

"What is happening is that people are testing the waters," said O'Donnell. "It just becomes economically viable to do it, so you start seeing these attacks becoming more common."

As cyber criminals target Mac users more frequently, overall, the amount of detection-evading malware reached 85 per day last month, the highest levels since March 2009, according to a report by an internet security company.