Immediacy of Mac OS X Trojan horse threat exaggerated. Intego's security annoucement about the viability of a Trojan horse for Mac OS X has turned out to be a case of FUD. By Eric Bangeman. [Ars Technica]
Noooo! Do you think? Of course, even getting the gist of the story right, Windows fanatics make mistakes, because they do not understand other operating systems. A few glaring errors:
The proof-of-concept is exactly that: a demonstration that OS X can be vulnerable to some Trojan horses, and not much more. The file posted on the Usenet takes advantage of a beahvior that is a carry-over from the Macintosh's pre-Unix days: the file's creator code is evaluated before the extension when the file is opened from the Finder, while the Finder displays the icon associated with the extension. The file in question cannot be easily spread to other computers via P2P or e-mail unless compressed, as failure to compress it makes it inoperable.
As me and my pals have pointed out on countless occasions, the problem is not the Finder obeying the metadata (creator code) in order to open the file, is that the file type is precluded by the extension. The Finder knows it is an application, but it insist on showing it as an Mp3 file (of course, the file also has an icon paste on to it.)
For its part, Apple released a statement saying that they are aware of the issue and are further investigating it. While this case was a false alarm, it does point out that obscurity and/or small market share do not equal invulnerability. This particularly proof-of-concept is not a security threat to OS X, but it is likely that malware authors will turn their attention to OS X sooner rather than later.
Yes, but they will have a lot more trouble than Windows sympathetic apologist like this writer would make you think. Mac OS X is not more secure only because is not common. It is designed to be more secure. One of the stupidest things in Windows is that you have to be in an administrator account in order to install an application. Consequence: everybody uses an account with administration privileges. In Mac OS X you have to type a password to install or to move important files, even if you are using an administration account... Get it? For a virus to cause real harm (something other than deleting the users files, any application can do that), the user would have to type the password to give the virus permission to cause harm... By the way, to send email an application or Applescript has to be authorized at least once... So forget about the easy distribution people get in Windows machines...
Of course, I still hope that malware authors out there do everything they can to discover vulnerabilities in Mac OS X. That would make the system stronger, provided its users and Apple do not take the head in the sand approach that Windows users and Micro$ucks has taken...