Look out, Apple. Eugene Kaspersky is calling you out.
"I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security," Kaspersky told CBR. "For many years I've been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It's always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms."
The malware about which Kaspersky speaks, the Flashback trojan, struck more than 600,000 Mac devices early this month and prompted Apple to release three separate Java updates to patch vulnerabilities in the software and prevent more security problems.
Unfortunately, Apple's security updates may have come too little, too late. While just last week, Kaspersky Labs researchers had pegged the number of machines still plagued with the Flashback trojan at just 30,000, a recent report by Russian IT-security vendor Dr. Web shows the number of infected devices may be as high as 550,000, reports The Next Web. (Dr. Web researchers first discovered how widely the Flashback trojan had spread.)
While Apple has been slow to respond to new security concerns, CNET reports that Apple is making moves to boost the security on its devices. For example, XProtect, a built-in malware scanner, came with the last two major versions of Mac OS X. And security technology called Gatekeeper will be built into OS X Moutain Lion and will let the user to install only software designed by registered developers.
But with malware like the Flashback and Sabpab trojans still making their rounds, and wth recent studies showing just how vulnerable Apple devices are, Mac users might do well to heed Kaspersky's words of warning. As he told CBR, more Macs (last quarter saw 4 million sold, a 7% increase from last year) will only mean more problems.
"Cyber criminals have now recognized that Mac is an interesting area," Kaspersky said. "Now we have more, it's not just Flashback or Flashfake. Welcome to Microsoft's world, Mac. It's full of malware."
What do you think of what Kaspersky had to say? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!