Feeds

Mac users urged to ditch Safari

US consumer group bemoans lack of phishing net

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Surfers should steer clear of Safari until it introduces better anti-phishing protection, a US consumer rights magazine has advised.

Consumer Reports lists "thinking your Mac shields you from all risks" as one of the seven biggest online blunders that expose surfers to risk online. It advises Apple fans to consider using either Firefox or Opera in preference to the Safari web browser bundled with Macs which contains no phishing protection, unlike the competition. It also suggests using free anti-phishing toolbars such as McAfee Site Advisor or FirePhish.

"Mac users fall prey to phishing scams at about the same rate as Windows users, yet far fewer of them protect themselves with an anti-phishing toolbar. To make matters worse, the browser of choice for most Mac users, Apple’s Safari, has no phishing protection. We think it should," Consumer Reports said.

The organisation's annual internet security survey cites recent figures from the Anti-Phishing Working Group that one in 94 have lost money to phishing scams, resulting in losses estimated at $2bn. Phishing scams commonly pose as security checks, randomly distributed via spam, that attempt to trick users into logging into fake sites run by cybercrooks. Anti-phishing toolbars rely on an index of dodgy sites to give users warnings about known phishing sites. The latest Firefox 3.0 and Opera 9.5 browsers include anti-phishing technology, while Safari does not.

Consumer Reports has become the latest in a growing string of organisations to take Apple to task over its handling of security issues. For example, the consumer electronics giant has been lambasted for its slow response to a cross-industry DNS spoofing flaw, force-feeding Windows users its Safari browser under the guise of a security update and mismanaging the noteworthy Safari carpet-bombing flaw over recent weeks. A planned security talk by Apple's security team at the Black Hat conference this week was cancelled at short notice after its marketing department objected.

Unpatched security holes have occasionally prompted security watchers, such as US CERT, to advise against using IE. Consumer Reports is one of the first organisations to advise against using Safari, but is unlikely to be the last unless security, rather than simply great design and being cool, becomes more entrenched at Apple. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.