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Most Widespread Malicious Programs Spotted on Macs

Sophos the security company has lately studied malware that's most prevalent and which Mac users come across when using their systems, based on which, it has published a list of 20 most widespread malicious programs.

Sophos, through its report, disclosed that a large number of the malicious programs it spotted were designed for Windows which didn't attack Mac OS X straight away; however, Mac systems could transfer them onto other platforms. The company indicated one such program as ASFDldr-A, which had a 4.62% detection rate, and mainly attacked MS Media Player.

The malware essentially arrived disguised as deceptively-designed media files that were also padded, while pretending to be music files containing songs of Madonna and Lady Gaga. When the files were run on Windows PCs then only anything adverse occurred, the security company explained.

Meanwhile, the sole malicious programs on the Top Twenty List which really attack Mac systems are DNSChanger and Jahlav, each having a slightly less than 1% detection rate. Also, these are both PC Trojans that typically pretend to be codecs essential for playing something.

The List also includes the notorious Conficker virus, placed on No.19. While Conficker doesn't affect Macs, it does proliferate through USB drives. People using Macs possibly became contaminated when their colleagues/friends having contaminated Windows computers had their contaminated thumb drive plugged into the Mac machines.

Meanwhile, other malicious programs which attacked Mac computers and which Sophos listed are: Troj/Javadl-V at 3.67%, Mal/JavaKC-G at 2.96%, Mal/JavaKC-E at 2.36%, Troj/KeygenD-P at 1.59%, Mal/JavaHU-A at 1.36%, Mal/JavaK-CI at 1.35%, Troj/JavaDL-X at 1.21%, Troj/Bytever-G at 1.11%, and Mal/JavaHibis-A at 1.06%.

Senior Security Consultant Carole Theriault at Sophos who studied the above results observed that there were far fewer Mac malicious programs than Windows malicious programs, however, that did not imply that Mac owners could remain nonchalant regarding their PCs' safety. TheRegister published this on November 18, 2010.

Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluely at Sophos added that till the time Mac-owners didn't appropriately protect themselves, cyber-criminals would increasingly regard them as easy attack areas thereby raising the total number of Mac-oriented malware. Net-security.org published this on November 18, 2010.

Related article: Most malware Use File Packing To Escape Detection

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