by CIO Staff

Apple Mac OS and Safari: Virus Targets

May 01, 20062 mins
AppleTechnology IndustryViruses

Apple’s Mac OS was included in the SANS Institute list of top 20 security vulnerabilities for 2005 because of its susceptibility to viruses, reports an Associated Press article on The institute also reported holes in Safari, Apple’s Internet browser.

A Southern California researcher, Tom Ferris, discovered seven new security holes and exploitable vulnerabilities affecting the Mac OS and Safari this past week. According to the article, such security problems could make the Mac OS a major target for hackers who wish to execute code and gain remote access to Apple’s operating system. The security holes could also lead criminals to access passwords or other sensitive information using Safari on the Mac.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris claimed zero incidences of the exploit being used, and she disagreed that the holes make it easy for attackers to exploit the operating system and Safari.

The article also states that this Mac OS security hole may just be the start of things to come for Apple. With new Macs currently running the same Intel processors that power Windows machines, many people who already know how to exploit Intel, Windows and Internet Explorer may look toward Apple, Mac OS and Safari as a new target.

Apple claims that Mac OS X is designed to be Internet-safe, out of the box, without requiring firewalls or additional security precautions or software.

Apple has already fixed six of the seven security holes, and plans to fix the remaining hole in its next automatic update of Mac OS X. The Safari hole was still unpatched with no workaround as of the AP publication.

For related news coverage, read Apple Grilled in Trade Secrets Case.

Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.

Compiled by Judah Phillips