While it’s nothing new for organized crime to focus on phishing and identity theft, Windows-based computers have traditionally taken the brunt of most attacks. So much so, in fact, that plenty of my Apple friends claimed it as yet another reason to switch to the below-the-radar Mac. Too bad, then, that a report out last week shows that the end of 2007 was the beginning of “financially-motivated” organized crime targeting Apple computers.
Is this good news or bad? After all, it could be taken as a sign of Apple’s success. Macs finally appear to be popular enough that cybercriminals care. However you frame it, check out this call to arms of sorts from Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos (the firm responsible for this report):
“Mac users have for years prided themselves on making smarter decisions than their PC cousins – well, now’s the chance to prove it. The Mac malware problem is currently tiny compared to the Windows one, so if enough Apple Mac users resist clicking on unsolicited weblinks or downloading unknown code from the web then there’s a chance they could send a clear message to the hackers that it’s not financially rewarding to target Macs. If they fail to properly defend themselves, however, there’s a chance that more cybercriminals will decide it’s worth their while to develop more malware for Mac during 2008.”
So there you have it, Mac users, unite and be as smart as you feel! The report also noted that Wi-Fi enabled devices and other mobile technologies (even mentioning Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch) are likely to be targeted this year.