We informed you last month about the Flashback Trojan that has been affecting hundreds of thousands of Mac’s around the world. This was a wake up call to many Mac users who were under the impression that they could never be affected by a virus or malware. Since then, Apple has released updates to their OS X operating system to help patch infected systems. Just last week Apple released another round of updates to patch their older Mac OS X operating system – 10.5, Leopard. This update disabled the Java plugin in Safari per Apples support Page.
Moving along… Our next virus has been kept quiet, mainly because it has been patched by Microsoft already. It is the Rogue Rich Text File (RTF). If you are sent a rogue RTF file through email and open this file in Microsoft Word (Mac or PC), it can run malicious code and infect your system. Microsoft has already released their Security Bulletin with the versions of Microsoft Office that can be infected. As long as you have the patch loaded, you are protected.
This stresses the importance of keeping your computers up to date. Check regularly for updates to your operating system and software that you use.
*Note: If you are a Mac user you will have to go to Microsoft’s Mac Support Page to update your installed Office products.
Looking ahead, Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod) are in danger of virus’s or malware – it is a matter of “When” not “If”. With their popularity growing at such a rapid rate that will soon rival desktops and laptops, it is bound to happen. A few years back, iPhones were in danger of a vulnerability delivered via text message. This vulnerability was said to be able to make calls from your device and extract personal information from it as well. Apple never publically admitted there was an issue, however six weeks later they released an update for the iPhone.
Recently Kaspersky was denied by Apple to create and develop an anti-virus software for their iOS devices. As Kaspersky goes on to claim, Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft in security. Apple denied the application stating they do not need the protection and that their platform is secure. Since the iOS has been exploited on the desktop level, one can assume it is just a matter of time.