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Kaspersky: Apple security is like Microsoft's in 2002

Get ready for the era of the sick Mac

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Apple customers are more at risk from malware now because of their misconception that their iDevices and Macs are secure and because of Apple's poor attitude to security, according to experts.

David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab told The Reg that Apple had cultivated the image of the Mac as intrinsically safer than PCs and now that Macs were under attack from bot armies like the Flashback Trojan, the fruity firm would have to change its attitude.

"I think it will take some time before we see a significant change in attitude from Apple," he said. "It's not simply about code, but about adopting a different security posture and updating and reviewing processes that reflect this."

Because Mac users have long believed that their computers are safe from malware - and Apple fostered this belief in ads like the 2006 one that compared the healthy Mac to the sick PC - they are intrinsically more at risk compared to wary Microsoft users.

"Even when Apple added signature detection to Mac OS, in the form of it's 'XProtect' module, it was done quietly, without any sort of fanfare," says Emm.

"I think Mac customers are more at risk because of the historical mis-perception about Mac security.  But I would hope that Flashfake will be a wake-up to anyone using a Mac, that they need to secure themselves from online threats."

Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO at the Lab, told Computer Business Review last week and confirmed to The Reg that Apple was about ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security.

Kaspersky Lab thinks that this is just the start of the attacks that the fruity firm can expect now that Macs have become so much more popular.

"For many years I've been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows," he said.

"Cyber criminals have now recognised that Mac is an interesting area. Now we have more, it's not just Flashback or Flashfake. Welcome to Microsoft's world, Mac. It's full of malware." ®

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