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Mac Users Equally Prone to Phishing Attacks as Other OS Users

Randy Abrams, Technical Education Director at ESET, an antivirus company, has said that phishers, which comprise a highly operational section of the cyber crime world, victimize Mac users with the same frequency as they do to Windows users, as reported by USA TODAY on November 17, 2009.

In the 3rd week of November 2009, the security company published the outcome (result) of a telephonic poll conducted by Competitive Edge Research and Communications over 1,003 participants and concluded that the greater part of losses from cyber crime occurred due to phishing assaults. The poll also revealed that all computer users, irrespective of the operating system they ran, were equally in danger of falling prey to such tricks.

Abrams further said that phishing assaults were equally successful on Windows, Macs, Solaris, Linux or any other OS as they primarily involved deceiving the end-user rather than exploiting software vulnerabilities, as reported by SCMagazine on November 17, 2009. He added that the Mac OS provided no guaranteed security from phishing attacks; consequently, there was almost the same rate of victimization against Macs everywhere.

Nevertheless, the poll further revealed that 57% of Mac operators believed that there would be no security problem if they did not use an antivirus compared to just 27% of Windows operators who believed the same.

Expressing their opinion on this point, computer security specialists stated that Mac operators were equally prone like Linux or Windows operators, allowing the passage of malicious web-links that traveled across Web-mails - Twitter microblogs and Facebook messages. Moreover, if Mac was allowed to merge with Windows based corporate networks, then sophisticated phishers could easily disseminate their attacks, the specialists said.

According to analysts at Gartner, several Mac operators feel that they are better protected against malware than non-Mac operators, a contention that's generally a fact as many trojans work more effectively on Windows and in IE than on Mac. However, phishing is independent of the operating system in use, the analysts said.

Sophos, another security company, stated during October 2009 that Macs formed 10% of share in the PC market, twice that of some years back; consequently, malware attackers found them an attractive target.

Related article: Mac OS X Devoid of Malware, Vexing Experts

ยป SPAMfighter News - 26-11-2009

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