Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How vulnerable are Mac users compared to PC users? Some blunt words.


Do Mac users really need to be diligent and install and maintain antivirus software? Mary Landesman, of About.com, says, bluntly, well, do you connect to the Internet? Her article and FAQ page is here.

Many of the vulnerabilities are more subtle than just compromise of your machine; they have to do with “social engineering” in one form or another, including phishing.

She provides some particular discussion of man-in-the-middle attacks, the “carrier” problem (as in the real world of infectious diseases) where a less-affected user can pass along infection to others. Her link for MITM and redirection attacks is here

One of the most dangerous potential threats here would be “domain name spoofing”, which created a huge alarm among security experts, including international meetings and sudden patches by Microsoft (and maybe Apple) in the middle of 2008. These could, just by their very logic, affect Mac users as much as PC users.

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