Macs have often be heralded as safe, or rather safer than Windows PC’s. This has often been accredited to the fact that unlike windows, developing applications on a Mac requires you have a particular license. With fewer people able to program, it is said to lead to even fewer people programming nasty stuff. In a recent study Mac, OS and iOS actually came up as more vunerable than Windows, once again attacking at this belief that Windows based systems are the most dangerous computers to own. Ahead of a presentation though, Xeno Kovah, Trammell Hudson and Corey Kallenberg have demonstrated that Mac’s are still vulnerable to the same problems windows PCs suffer from.
Firmware is the software in your computer that controls how it interacts with the hardware you own, so for example when you buy a new USB stick and it starts to download the drivers, these are examples of firmware. The problem being that most security systems don’t check these while wiping your computer and reinstalling your operating system will not touch the firmware, they will still be present on your computer. In this example it means you could be sent to a site to download drivers to help you play your latest game, and along comes a virus that will hide in plain sight and probably not get picked up by your security software, meaning you’ve installed a virus over the internet and won’t even know about it till it’s too late.
The researchers have alerted Apple and they have already fixed one vulnerability and are working on the next now.
Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.