Hackers increasingly targeting Mac users

ICT Materials 3 February 2008 10:18 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Apple users should be prepared for a spike in attacks from hackers looking to pick their pockets.

Last year saw the first release of malicious programs written by criminals specifically targeting the Apple platform in an attempt to steal money through ploys like phishing attacks, the IT software firm Sophos reports.

A growing number of these attempts can be expected this year as well.

"Users of Apple computers are no longer secure from cyber criminality any more," confirms Matthias Gaertner from the German Federal Agency for Security in Information Technology (BSI) in Bonn.

The underlying cause is the growing proportion of Mac users among all computer users. That makes Apple computers more interesting from a hacker's point of view. The same basic defensive principles apply as for a PC: Install all available security updates as well as firewall and anti-virus software, and keep them updated.

"The technical measures have to be supported by a mental one: think before you click!" Gaertner says.

Sophos notes that many of the criminals attempt to sneak malware onto Mac computers using infected websites. Most of these pages are found on hacked websites of "otherwise innocuous companies and private persons," Gaertner says. Users are typically lured to these sites via spam mail. Sophos offers solutions for corporate IT security.