Apple’s 10.6.4 operating system upgrade earlier this week silently updated the anti-virus protection built into Mac OS X to protect against a backdoor Trojan horse that can allow hackers to gain remote control over iMac or MacBook.
Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done. You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an antivirus security update like this was for marketing reasons. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against virus on Mac OS X!“
Security folks are worried about how Apple is telling its consumers to be unconcerned about security.
It seems their own employees can be amongst the worst offenders when it comes to giving users security advice. Just a few days ago Cluely at Sophos, came across a tweet about the poor advice about malware protection being offered in Apple retail stores.
There’s a lot less malicious software for Mac computers than Windows PCs, of course, but the fact that so many Mac owners don’t take security seriously enough, and haven’t bothered installing an antivirus, might mean they are a soft target for hackers in the future.
Apple’s update to detect “HellRTS” more than doubles the size of the XProtect.plist file from 2.4k to 5.1k. There are still a lot of Mac threats it doesn’t protect against.