When people think of Macs they tend to think of the fact that they’re not as bogged down with malware as Windows computers can be. There are a few different ideas on why that is. Some think it’s because Mac is built with a UNIX like kernel which is supposed to be more secure, while others think it’s because Windows has the larger market share which means that it’s the bigger target. Regardless of the why, the fact is that Macs do have fewer pieces of malware than Windows.. but could that change? Malware can be written to exploit vulnerabilities within the operating system but it can also do the same for 3rd party software that Apple or Microsoft did not write. This was the cause of a recent outbreak of malware on Mac computers that took advantage of a vulnerability in Java. Mac uses a version of Java that Apple specifically designed for it so any updates for it are handled by Apple. In this instance the Mac version of Java had not been completely up to date based off of the security patches that Java releases and because of this about 600,000 Macs were infected with the malware named Flashback. Apple has since released a tool to remove Flashback and also released a patch for Java to bring it to the current version.
Users of Mac computers have been so used to the fact that they didn’t have to worry about malware but is that about to change? The Mac platform is still currently more secure than Windows but with the popularity of Mac computers increasing, in my opinion I think it is time to start exploring the anti-virus software available for Macs. If you have any questions about Macs or security software for your company then give us a call and see how we can assist you.
According to the http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/24/apple-macbook-pro-line-up-gets-processor-and-graphics-boost/ website, Apple is releasing a MacBook Pro near the end of this calendar year that gives you more in it for the same price.
Apple is scheduled to release versions of its MacBook Pro that have better graphics and processing power in them than previously released laptops. Both the 15” and 17” laptops will come with a faster AMD Radeon HD 6770M video chip than the chip that the models’ predecessors had. Processor power has also been increased in the 13” models from the 2.3 GHz Intel i5 chip up to either the 2.8 GHz Intel i7 chip or the 2.4 GHz Intel i5 chip, as well a larger hard drive (500 GB as a minimum, 750 GB as a max.). The 15” MacBook Pro is now also coming with a faster processor that can be increased all the way up to a quad-core 2.4 GHz Intel i7, which is the same processor in the 17” model.
Now that speed and graphics have been increased and it won’t cost you any extra, is now the time to buy the MacBook Pro? Have you been waiting for just the right time to buy? Well, maybe now is the time. There is speculation that next year, Apple will be making a design change to the MacBook Pro, so if you like the current way it looks, there may be no better time than the present.
If you are in the market for laptops and need a business solution that is right for you, contact Trigon Technology and ask about our Mobile IT Solutions for Philadelphia. We also can assist you with any server or desktop needs with our PC and Server Solutions for the Philadelphia Area. There are also a wide range of other services we provide through our PinnacleCare Managed Services Program – contact us for your IT needs and Expect IT to Happen.
Long gone are the days when Apple lovers could take pride in their virus-free Macs while snickering at PC owners' constant worries about security. Apple's brand new Mac OS X Lion operating system is already acquiring an unhealthy list of reported vulnerabilities less than a week after its official release.
Some Lion vulnerabilities are carry-overs from Snow Leopard, like the "Mac Defender" class of scareware that first surfaced in May. Apple's recent software update to prep Macs running Snow Leopard for Lion installation includes identification and removal of known variants of the malware.
Like Mac Defender, another newly identified OS X threat called the Olyx backdoor appears to be a variant of Microsoft Windows-targeting malware that's simply been tweaked to go after Macs.
I, for one, and stunned that PC Magazine uses their space to alert their readers to the fact that Mac hardware may be succeptable to malware. Let's ignore the fact that news of the threat to Macs comes from TechNet and continue on.
Obviously, it's entirely possible that Macs will be just as malware-heavy as PCs. That day may even be now. The fact is there just aren't nearly enough Mac users as there are PC users. Right now, there is no reason for malware creators to attack a small userbase, but if it continues it's growth, you better believe things could get hairy.
However, I'm always second guessing the places where claims of new malware come from. More than likely it's from a group that gets funding from Norton or somewhere else. Obviously these people want you to know about the risks and then buy their software. Obviously Microsoft wants you to know about the risks coming to Mac's new OS.
The fact is there will always be risks, and you should always be prepared. That's not hype, that's truth. Trigon can help you with potential malware issues.
A recently discovered zero-day bug in the Mac version of Skype allows hackers to gain control of the user's system by sending a malicious instant message. According to Australian security consultancy company Pure Hacking, the vulnerability in Skype is dangerous and would allow anyone with the know-how to gain control of a Mac by simply sending a malicious instant message.
In a blog post, Gordon Maddern of Pure Hacking explained that he first discovered the bug when he sent a client’s payload to his colleague on Skype.
He later confirmed his suspicions by crafting a proof-of-concept malicious pay-load and testing it on Skype.
“The long and the short of it is that an attacker needs only to send a victim a message and they can gain remote control of the victims Mac. It is extremely wormable and dangerous,” he wrote on the blog.
That sound you just heard was millions of Mac users falling down from their high horse.
Way back when the most recent update to Skype had come out, Mac nerds all over the world were complaining about its design flaws. The sad reality was now the Mac version was starting to look like its bloated PC counterpoint. Have you ever used Skype on Windows? It takes up just about the entire screen. Let's scale that back a bit, eh, Skype?
I usually just use the Skype application on my iPhone, but even then I usually ignore all calls that come into my phone. Who wants to talk on a telephone anymore? Let's be honest here. Just text me so we can pass the awkward phone conversations that would no doubt take place.
Aside from the stingy design complaints, this is arguably the most notable Mac vulnerability I can think of. Just about every Mac user I know uses Skype all the time. And generally, they're on the up and up when it comes to updates. Sadly, this means that just about every Mac user I know is completely vulnerable to hackers. If you're in the enterprise field, hopefully your team has a backup plan to install a previous version of Skype. If not, you can always reach out to Trigon.
The screenshots show Microsoft’s new application store for Windows. The store appears to be running in Windows 7, hinting that the software giant may also be planning to offer its app store for legacy versions of Windows. Cnbeta posted the screenshots on Monday, however WinRumors is unable to confirm their authenticity at this time. The screenshots appear to show a number of Microsoft’s own software, including third party software from Opera and Mozilla.
Microsoft is known to be working on an App Store for Windows 8 and the naming in the leaked screenshots is of interest. The company recently filed an objection to Apple’s use of the term “App Store”, claiming the phrase is generic. If today’s screenshots are genuine then this explains why Microsoft is fighting hard to use the “App Store” branding.
First, I should warn you that the ads on that site are incredibly intrusive. It took me about 20 minutes to paste that text onto our blog. The future, indeed, WinRumors.
So, Windows is taking a page from Apple's book with an attempt at simplifying the app process on their operation system. Is it odd that they waited for Apple to try something revolutionary before they even bothered? Yes. Is it a great idea? Yes.
Apple created their Mac App Store because they thought that new/novice user wouldn't search out apps because it was too daunting. They were worried about downloading apps that couldn't be trusted and perhaps contained viruses.
Windows looks to be attempting the same thing even though their userbase is rocksolid and has been for years. If their App Store runs much like the Mac version, it would be nice to keep all of your apps contained through the same update process. Nobody wants to get updates from Flash every three seconds about an update that will most likely crash the app more often than not. Well, maybe you do. But I don't.
Intesting in the screenshot is a link to download Windows 7 Ultimate. Hmmm.
Another interesting aspect of these Windows 8 leaks are the shots of a tiled interface that would work on tablets. But that may be a blog for another day. The bottom line is that if Microsoft approves these apps themselves, it could mean a more secure computer for your friends, family, and coworkers.
No matter what tech blog you look at, there is usually an article about the new Data Center Apple has said they’d be using for MobileMe and iTunes. Said article inevitably leads to drool-worthy comments about a streaming iTunes. But how would Apple do that with your purchased content? How would they do it with your own “ripped” content?
In iOS 4.3, I think Apple tips its hat with “Home Sharing”. Home Sharing has been inside of iTunes on your desktop for sometime but I’m not sure how many people actually use it. For those out of the know, once you enable Home Sharing on your main desktop that houses your media, you can then use other computers on your network to to access that content inside of their own iTunes.
Home Sharing in iOS 4.3 will allow you to share your iTunes content from your main computer to your iOS devices seemlessly over your home network. It’s very smooth. Is that NDA?
[REDACTED] is very smooth.
When inside of iTunes.app, you have the ability to switch your iTunes Home Sharing Library. This change is seemless and the media now shows inside of the app as if it were stored locally. When you leave that WiFi network, things revert back to the local storage, and the ability to view the Home Sharing networked Library goes away.
This is exactly how I envision Apple to enable iTunes streaming of your own content via MobileMe, or whatever they decide to brand it. Apple has made Back To My Mac, and Screen Sharing a seemless experience. Couldn’t they use this technology to stream your media in the same fashion across networks other than your own?
What about purchased content that you maybe don’t have downloaded inside of your home iTunes Library? I think this is where the data center will come into play. Home Sharing uses your AppleID - in my case, also my MobileMe account - in order to stream your own media to your iOS device. Your iTunes purchases are also used with these credentials.
I think that Apple will use the data center coupled with your AppleID credentials in order to stream your purchased content to your iOS device. Home Sharing seems to pave the way for the local media and I really think the data center will work on streaming your non-hosted content.
Of course, this would most likely be all behind the scenes to iOS users. It would just “work”. Let’s get cracking, iOS 5. While Trigon employee don't wear mock turtlenecks, we do work with data centers of our own for our great clients. Contact us today to see how we can help you out as well!
- by Chad, "Dream", Weaver
It's that time again to look back at the past year and look forward to what’s coming in 2011. McAfee is doing just that with its recent look forward at the security threats that it thinks will the biggest security threats for the coming year. Some of the items on this list are a no brainer. Others should really be looked at closely as they represent some important insight for the next wave of cyber threats. I want to touch on a couple that everyone should really pay close attention; I am talking to you Mac users. Even if you don’t work in IT support or an enterprise office, some of these should be eye opening to even the most casual user.
Social Media: URL shorting services
You have all seen the tiny URLs that are used on sites like Twitter. These little space savers help you fit long complex URLs into a smaller, easier to read format. McAfee believes these short URLs will be the tool for malicious users, but using these links it is easier to fool someone into following a dangerous link by hiding it behind a shortened URL. They expect these to be used for many different malicious purposes in the future. What makes this scary is that the way to check if a hyperlink was bad was to see where it pointed. But, these hide the destination very well, making it easier to lead unknowing users to somewhere they wouldn’t have gone had they been able to see the destination.
Mobile phones and devices
With the spread of adoption of mobile devices in the enterprise, the rise of attacks aimed at these devices is expected in the new year. With more businesses adopting smart phones for their users, they become a soft spot in security. I would say the mail connected mobile phone has been a threat to businesses for a while now; McAfee is expecting directed attacks to increase against these devices. I think this one is really common sense but something everyone should start to be aware of.
Mac users this one is for you, you are not being ignored by cyber criminals any longer. Given the long standing belief that Apple products are impervious to attacks, and lack of education of these users on how to protect themselves, this makes an important statement. I would expect if these attacks begin to increase we might actually see some type of Mac antivirus products showing up on the market. Given all these factors they expect Apple botnets and Trojans to become very common in the new year.
McAfee is using products like Google TV as an example of a device that may have malicious applications crafted and widely deployed. These applications will aim to extract personal information and or gain control of these and other similar devices to add to the botnets that are spreading around the globe. This one just shows that any internet connected device these days could be exposed to threats and as these threats grow in complexity, almost nothing is safe. I mean, how would you go about protecting a device like this in the first place?
They also touched on the recent outbreak of what they called “hacktivism”, using hacking for a politically motivated purpose. We have all seen the recent news stories surrounding the Wikileaks site and how the managed to actually cause some actual down time to large organizations. They are predicting that these types of attacks will become more organized and spread through social networking in the future. This report gives a glimmer of insight as to what the people fighting these attacks everyday are expecting to see in the not too distant future, for someone concerned about network security it was a very interesting read I would recommend reading the full report. In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact us regarding the security of your business.