OS X botnet: disaster or speed bump?

Summary:The infection of more than 600,000 Macs by Flashback highlights the fact that all software contains bugs, even Apple's. But will this destroy OS X's reputation as a safe platform?

The infection of more than 600,000 Macs by Flashback highlights the fact that all software contains bugs, even Apple's. But will this destroy OS X's reputation as a safe platform?

The technical details of this attack are only just beginning to emerge. Russian security vendor Dr.Web announced its discovery of the Flashback botnet just before analysts and the media took their Easter holidays.

What we do know is that the attackers exploited a vulnerability in Apple's version of the Java programming language that had been patched in Oracle's mainstream version back in February. Was Apple too slow to respond? What does this say about the reality of Apple's commitment to security — as opposed to the PR spin?

Microsoft learned about operating security the hard way, and has made steady improvements to Windows over the last decade. Is it now Apple's turn to face an unpleasant truth?

In this post-Easter Tuesday edition of the Patch Monday podcast, we discuss these issues with Chris Gatford, director of penetration testing firm Hacklabs, and applications architect Benno Rice.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 25 minutes, 06 seconds

Topics: Apple, Microsoft, Security

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit tr... Full Bio

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