Kaspersky Lab last week detailed why the increasing market share of the Apple Mac means more malware on the platform. Eugene (Yevgeny) Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of the security firm, has now gone further in statement made at the Infosecurity Europe 2012 conference.
"I think [Apple] are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security," Kaspersky told CBR. "For many years I've been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It's always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms."
Kaspersky is of course referring to the Flashback malware that has infected hundreds of thousands of Macs (see links below). He then reiterated what his employees and many security researchers have been saying for years: Apple needs to step up its game.
"Apple is now entering the same world as Microsoft has been in for more than 10 years: updates, security patches and so on," Kaspersky said. "We now expect to see more and more because cyber criminals learn from success and this was the first successful one. They will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago. They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software. That's what Microsoft did in the past after so many incidents like Blaster and the more complicated worms that infected millions of computers in a short time. They had to do a lot of work to check the code to find mistakes and vulnerabilities. Now it's time for Apple [to do that]."
Kaspersky, the privately-held company, produces antivirus and other computer security products. Excluding the energy sector, Kaspersky Lab is considered one of Russia's few international business success stories. The company makes excellent security software and I have personally recommended some of its products a few times.
That being said, Kaspersky, both the man and his company, of course would benefit from a malware epidemic on the Mac. That's important to keep in mind, while acknowledging that the numbers are indeed growing and the Mac security situation is getting worse. Just how bad it's getting, and will get, is a matter of perspective.
- New Flashback variant silently infects Macs
- New version of Mac OS X Trojan exploits Word, not Java
- New targeted Mac OS X Trojan requires no user interaction
- Over 600,000 Macs infected with Flashback Trojan
- Russian security firm says Flashback infection rates still high
- How big a security risk is Java? Can you really quit using it?