In the wake of the recent “Flashback” Trojan, I’m sure many of you are wondering why your mac was able to contract this in the first place.  It’s not your fault; Apple is notorious for misleading consumers with their rhetoric.  Macs are just as susceptible to malware/Trojans/viruses as a Windows PC is and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Until now, Macs haven’t been a viable target for viral creators.  However, with more and more Apple products making their way to the workplace, many have a growing concern over the size of the target (and they should).

    • First things first: Check to see if this Trojan has gotten ahold of your mac. Kaspersky offers online tools to quickly determine if you need to take action. Flashback Check
    • Second: Consider adding a security suite to your Mac if you don’t already have one. There are many options (free and paid) to choose from. These include offerings from Avast, ClamXav, Kaspersky, and Intego.
    • Third: Make sure your passwords are at least somewhat complex. Yes, these are much harder to remember. That’s why you use them in conjunction with password databases like 1Password or Last Pass. If you don’t want to shell out the cash for a nice GUI/Browser integration you can always use Apple’s own keychain application that is a part of Mac OSX.
    • Lastly: If you are worried about malware calling home or your personal information, consider a network monitor like Little Snitch. It notifies you when ANYTHING is phoning out or asking for information. You can also create rules for your favorite applications so the notifications don’t get out of control.

 

If you take nothing away from this article tech-wise, please note that this is a wakeup call to those of you who assume your Mac is safe just because there either hasn’t been a threat or you believe Apple when they say, “It just works”.  There will always be threats to computers.  Choose prevention; don’t be left in the dark.