Tech Talk

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

by Luis Vil­la­zon Mac se­cu­rity has been in the news again re­cently and so once again, my Mac-own­ing friends and re­la­tions have been anx­iously ask­ing me if they should in­stall this, scan that or re­for­mat the other. And once again, I’ve been firmly telling them “no, no and def­i­nitely not”. First there was the Shell­shock bug in the Bash shell. This could al­low hack­ers to re­motely ac­cess your Mac, but only if you’ve ex­plic­itly en­abled re­mote lo­gin for all users (in­clud­ing guest ac­counts) or if you’re run­ning a web server con­fig­ured to al­low scripts. Nei­ther of th­ese sce­nar­ios are common, or en­abled by de­fault.

The Mac.Back­Door. iWorm ‘virus’ is ac­tu­ally nei­ther a worm, nor a virus

This af­fects a hand­ful of server ad­mins and almost no one else.

Then there’s the Mac.Back­Door. iWorm ‘virus’. This is nei­ther a worm, nor a virus. It is a tro­jan, which ex­ploits the greed and gulli­bil­ity of peo­ple who think they can down­load free apps from The Pi­rate Bay. To in­stall it, you’d have to change the de­fault set­tings in Se­cu­rity & Pri­vacy pref­er­ences. And any­way, Ap­ple has al­ready up­dated Xpro­tect (which is part of OS X) to de­tect this tro­jan, so it won’t let you in­stall it. Even if you al­ready had, the fake Red­dit fo­rum the tro­jan used to re­ceive out­side com­mands has long been shut down.

In other words, you’re fine. The rea­son po­ten­tial Mac se­cu­rity is­sues make the news is be­cause they are rare, not be­cause they are common.

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