04/20/2012 05:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Apple Security: Products Surprisingly Vulnerable, Studies Find

Alright, Apple fans, it's time to face the truth: Your Macs aren't as safe as you might think.

According to PCWorld, a report recently released by Internet security firm Trend Micro shows that Apple posted the highest number of reported security vulnerabilities during the first three months of 2012, leading all other OS and software vendors with 91 vulnerabilities.


In addition, Apple issued a record-breaking number of patches to its Safari 5 web browser this past March. Computerworld reported that the month saw 83 vulnerabilities, which the company hoped to fix with a browser update.

Perhaps the biggest security problem Apple has faced in the last several months was the spread of malware like the Mac Flashback trojan and, more recently, the Sabpab trojan, both of which took advantage of vulnerabilities in Java software.

On April 13, Apple released a Java update (the third in just nine days) meant to both patch up said vulnerabilities and remove variants of the Flashback malware. According to Forbes, this update should also help protect Mac users from the Sabpab trojan; however, those who have installed the update should still be wary. Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at computer security firm Sophos, recently reported that a new version of the Sabpab trojan is "exploiting malformed Word documents," rather than relying upon Java vulnerabilities for entry into a victim's computer.

While it's unclear how many Macs have been infected with the Sabpab trojan, those infected with the Flashback trojan -- which had previously spread to more than 600,000 devices across the world -- has recently decreased to around 30,000, IT security company Kaspersky Lab told Ars Technica.

According to Ars, in an April 19 press conference, Kaspersky Lab researchers stressed the importance of anti-malware software for Mac users and explained that "Mac OS X invulnerability is a myth."

In addition, Ars explained that, according to Kaspersky Lab, Mac malware has recently increased due to "a critical increase in Mac market share."

"Market share brings attacker motivation," Kaspersky Lab researchers said, as reported by Ars. "Expect more drive-by downloads, more Mac OS X mass-malware. Expect cross-platform exploit kits with Mac-specific exploits."

Cluley added his own words of wisdom to the end of his report on the Sabpab trojan: "It's time for Mac users to wake up and smell the coffee. Mac malware is becoming a genuine issue, and cannot be ignored any longer."

Have you secured your Mac against malicious software? If not, what steps will you take to protect your Apple device? Share your thoughts with us below!