Organized Internet Criminals Sizing Up Macs as Targets

Organized criminal gangs working on the Internet have started to size up their opportunities with the Mac and users, according to a Sophos report.

Previously, organized criminals have not paid much attention to Macs when there are so many poorly protected Windows systems to go after. However, in 2007, according to the report, cited by Help Net Security on Tuesday, itis not just security researchers who are writing proof of concept code but financially motivated hackers.

The first example was the Mac OS X/RSplug-Gen file triggered by a visit to malicious Websites by a Mac users. However, if the site is visited by a Windows computer, the Zlobar-Fam Trojan is delivered.

"No-one should underestimate the significance of financially-motivated malware arriving for Apple Macs," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos." Noting that Macs have a long way to go in market share and use in the enterprise, he said that the Macis increasing attractiveness to consumers is starting to receive attention by hackers. However, "...if enough Apple Mac users resist clicking on unsolicited weblinks or downloading unknown code from the Web then thereis a chance they could send a clear message to the hackers that itis not financially rewarding to target Macs. If they fail to properly defend themselves, however, thereis a chance that more cyber criminals will decide itis worth their while to develop more malware for Mac during 2008."