Here’s some shocking information for you: nearly 20% of Macs have malware hiding out somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of their filesystems. The twist: it’s actually Windows malware.
While that means it’s probably never going to do any harm to the Macs in question, it’s still pretty amazing to think that Sophos Labs found such a large percentage of the 100,000 systems they surveyed to be harboring malware. The most common culprit is Bredo, a Trojan that infects computers after they open a specially-crafted PDF file. With more than 10,000 variants in the wild, Bredo has been mutating and spreading its tentacles for nearly three years. Windows fakeAV malware was also fairly common on the Macs Sophos scanned.
Again, most of the computers surveyed aren’t necessarily in any danger simply because there’s malware sitting on their hard drives, but it’s still a bit unsettling that some of it has been laying around unnoticed for more than five years. It’s yet another indicator that a portion of the Mac user base is still laboring under the impression that it’s not necessary to take security precautions like installing an anti-malware app or keeping OS X, programs, and plug-ins fully updated.
So how many Macs are infected with Mac malware? Sophos says it’s somewhere around one in 36 — not nearly as bad as the number with inert Windows malware, but still plenty alarming when you consider that Apple is selling more than a million Macs every month nowadays. One in 36 translates to nearly 28,000 new infections every 30 days and more than 300,000 each year.
It’s probably safe to say that the days of “security by obscurity” are officially over.
More at Sophos
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