Last month we saw the Month of Apple Bugs (MoAB) project uncover 31 bugs relating to OS X and popular programs that Mac users run on the platform. But with a handful discovered and bought out into the open, how many more exist? Has the MoAB project made Mac users a little more concerned about security? If not, why not?
I watched the daily drip-feed of exploits from the MoAB project with great interest, not because the bugs themselves were interesting (although some were), but because it was interesting to watch how the Mac community responded to the disclosure of these bugs, or should I say didn’t respond to the bugs. No matter what platform under scrutiny, that many bugs being unleashed, along with exploit code, would make me a little worried about what would happen next. Security just isn’t something that Apple users seem to want to worry about.
But how long will this last for? As Mac user numbers grow and the surface presented to attackers gets bigger (the more applications there are for the Mac – browser toolbars, utilities, browser plug-ins and such – the bigger the surface being presented to attackers is), I really can’t see Mac users being able to ignore security indefinitely. In fact, it’s a credit to the Mac OS platform that they’ve got this far without issues. Given how social engineering tricks on websites can get people who are sitting behind the keyboard to install all kinds of junk onto their systems, I can’t believe that these tricks wouldn’t work on some Mac users too.