Apple users at risk as Mac malware mushrooms

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The days of Apple users not getting targeted by malware are coming to an end, according to experts.

The past few months has seen a dramatic rise in the number and complexity of malware programs being used to target Apple users and the situation is only going to get worse, according to security vendors, and part of the problem may be down to Apple users themselves.

“Apple malware is definitely on the rise,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“When malware writers see an opportunity they go for it. And let's not forget the smug factor. So many of them believe they are protected by magic rays and the spirit of Steve Jobs protects them wherever they go.”

He pointed out that there is also an increasing amount of malware that is platform agnostic. The Mikeyy cross-site scripting worm that spread like wildfire over Easter was just such a case, since it ran completely in Java.

However, Apple may also be a victim of its own success. As Apple ownership rises, particularly with the iPhone, more malware writers are being drawn to the platform.

“When Apple starts to distribute iPhones in China then they [malware writers] will do it with Apple systems,” said Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Kaspersky Labs.

“I am afraid that Mac users will be more easy victims because many of them they think work with a secure operating system, which is far, far from true.”

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