Companies react to offering up Security Essentials through Microsoft Update

November 6th, 2010 at 12:12 PM  1 Comment

You know you’re probably doing something right when three of your biggest competitors start acting like the world has come to an end. In this case, it’s Microsoft versus the anti-virus world.

While we like to stress the importance of anti-virus products on all platforms, they’re sort of like insurance companies. Their products are usually expensive and bloated, and when you really need them most of the time they’re not that effective. Microsoft’s Security Essentials product is arguably one of the best anti-virus products on the market, and it’s free, and it’s got traditional vendors like Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro scared. Even more so now that Microsoft has begun distributing the software to users directly through it’s Microsoft Update service.


Sophos releases full featured Mac OS anti virus for home users

November 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 AM  No Comments

We’ve covered this before: the need for Mac users to secure their systems with a proper antivirus. But unlike the Windows space, there are not many/any really good, small footprint AV clients that are free. Until now.

Sophos has released a free client for Mac, based on their popular business product, which you can download from their website.

“While most businesses recognise the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not,” said Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos. “By offering free industrial-strength security to home users, we aim to protect Mac users against today’s and tomorrow’s Mac threats. Everyone knows that Macs are beautiful computers – Sophos wants to lend a hand to keep them that way.”

Boonana trojan horse attacks Mac OS X

October 27th, 2010 at 1:58 PM  No Comments

Mac’s don’t get viruses, right? Wrong. SecureMac is warning of a new trojan marked “trojan.osx.boonana.a” that affects all versions of Mac OS X including the latest version of Snow Leopard. In typical non-creative fashion, the virus is spreading through social networking sites disguised as a video.

When a user clicks the infected link, the trojan initially runs as a Java applet, which downloads other files to the computer, including an installer, which launches automatically. When run, the installer modifies system files to bypass the need for passwords, allowing outside access to all files on the system. Additionally, the trojan sets itself to run invisibly in the background at startup, and periodically checks in with command and control servers to report information on the infected system. While running, the trojan horse hijacks user accounts to spread itself further via spam messages. Users have reported the trojan is spreading through e-mail as well as social media sites.

Because the exploit is Java based, it’s cross platform, meaning this also can hit Windows users. However, given any self respecting Windows user is/should be running a decent anti-virus program their exposure should be more limited. This is one of the first cross platform virues, but not the first for the Mac. As SecureMac points out, as Apple’s marketshare grows their exposure to virus and other malware attack vectors increase.

The easy way to protect yourself from this attack is, not to click stupid links. However, turning off Java inside your browser unless you need it is another recommended method. SecureMac has released a free removal tool to eliminate this threat, which can be downloaded directly from their website.

Apple OS X 10.6 to include anti-malware scanning

August 26th, 2009 at 12:43 PM  2 Comments

According to a report from¬†The Mac Security Blog, a previously undocumented feature of Apple OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” is that it includes a built-in anti-malware scanner. While there are few details on exactly how this works, ZDNet seems to think that it has entered into some type of agreement with a commercial anti-virus company, as they have confirmed that it is not using the open-source ClamAV engine.

Currently the Security page on the Apple website makes no mention of the feature directly, but it does highlight some of the other security measures in place for Snow Leopard, and anti-phishing technologies built into Safari. At the bottom of the page Apple does acknowledge that “since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.”


OS X 10.6 will be shipping this Friday, August 28.