OS X attracting hacker attention

Apple may become the victim of its success as increased sales, high profile, and its move to the Intel architecture so familiar to Windows hackers put the spotlight on OS X as this year’s hacker target.

SecurityFocus reports that a recent SchmooCon hacking conference resulted in a security researcher having his own Apple laptop hacked, despite having all reasonable security precautions in place. However, subsequent investigation revealed no clue as to how this happened, leading experts to conclude that the attack must have used an as yet unknown flaw in the platform.

Apple’s choice to move to a Unix platform as the basis of its operating system was a good choice, according to researchers, bringing with it the user versus root account model and the absence of ActiveX technology in Safari which has been the basis for many an IE exploit.

However, they also say Apple’s implementation hasn’t adopted the security improvements added in to Unix in its 20-odd year lifetime.

But the most worrying aspect is that Apple has yet to have experience of a major attack to the platform. Microsoft is now broadly applauded for its security work now, but that change was only wrought after its customers suffered a series of debilitating attacks in the form of SoBig and Blaster.

There’s every reason to expect that having poked its head far enough above the parapet, Apple can expect the same attention from the hacking community.

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