It is fascinating to see why people pirate software. ZDNet had an article about just why younger people tend to pirate stuff. Reasons include financial, the thrill, and just because it’s out there. The article goes on to talk about how many legal options are not as readily available or is not consistent enough to access. For example, a game is launched in Japan first, but users in the U.S.A. want to play too…as it’s not legally available, they’ll make there way to obtain it via illegal means. Malware whether we like it or not is coming heavily towards Mac users. Read on past the jump to find out why!
So, you just bought your first app on the Apple Mac App store! That’s great! So did many other people including some malicious people. With a bounty of about $0.43 per infection (back in 2009 according to gigaom) for the infection of a single Mac with malware, that is plenty of incentive to purchase a $5 app like Angry Birds and insert malware into the program. Put that on an torrent site which uses Bit Torrent for illegal distribution and one could make a killing on the black market. Think of it this way – the return after infecting 12 Macs becomes an unlimited return on investment. We already have seen Mac malware such as OSX/iWorkS-B from illicit downloads and with the way things go, the malware will only increase. Don’t be sucked into a false sense of security that Macs can’t be infected. It certainly can and will usually be linked to those who decide to go the illegal route for acquisitions of their software.
Apple needs to tighten up security and it’s not just an Apple issue as Apple must have the support of the software developers. The good news is that if you buy your stuff legitimately from the Appstore, there isn’t anything to worry about. Sophos’ website shows you just how the Angry Birds can lead to malware infection in this proof of concept example. (video demo below).
There are a number of antivirus programs available for the Mac including Sophos’ free Mac anti-virus, ESET for Mac, ClamXav2, and VirusBarrierx6 to name just a few. Stay safe and go legit, or the Angry Birds might just get you….