Up to a certain point in its development computer world applications lived two parallel platforms – PowerPC, provided by Apple and its offspring – Mac OS and traditional to the general public with the Intel x86 dominated by the time Microsoft Windows. And, if the PowerPC platform viruses were most of the area of exotic, the Intel x86 represented first DOS, and then Windows, very full of virus attacks. Since then, the prevalent opinion that the Mac OS is invulnerable to the effects of malware.
Subsequently, there was an event that can be considered the starting point of entry the Mac OS in a cohort of “virus-prone” operating systems – Mac OS has been ported to the platform Intel x86. Certainly, the transition Mac OS on Intel x86 platform helped to popularize the operating system to a wide range of users, for the PowerPC platform was rather “select”, in particular, because of its high cost of both hardware and software parts.
At the same time, Mac OS, even some time after his move to the “other world”, in the category remained invulnerable. And came to be seen by users as a viable alternative to Windows, unlike Linux, long claiming the hearts of the mass audience, but which have failed to produce tangible to his liking. And that is the growing popularity of Mac OS operating system, this has led to the fact that it drew the attention of attackers. Periodic updates from the company Intego the discovery of new virus threats for Mac OS, in general, failed to break the bastion user confidence in the invincibility of the operating system. Moreover, followed later attack DNSChanger-a, which was distributed by the authors known in the world of Windows malware families TDSS, as well as the false antivirus MacDefender, though were widespread, but rather were an indicator of the degree of credulity users Mac OS, hitherto not faced with virus outbreaks and, therefore, to set their own malicious programs from dmg-installers.
In fact, the final blow was the discovery of the company Dr. Web botnet of more than 550,000 Mac-computers infected BackDoor.Flashback. Here, however, it is worth to mention that contributed to the successful construction of a botnet vulnerabilities in third-party software, as well as the feature of policy Apple, does not permit the user to self-install patches for third-party programs – in fact, the approach to the safety of Apple, – or rather, his definite inertia, – was turned against him though.
A sort of “finishing moves” was the discovery of Kaspersky Lab, a new malicious program Backdoor.OSX.SabPub after about two weeks from the date of communication of Dr. Web about the discovery of said botnet Flashback. In this case, as in the case of Flashback, a successful install SabPub protect vulnerabilities in third-party software obspechenii – in this case it was found six documents Microsoft Word, containing Exploit.MSWord.CVE-2009-0563.a, two of them were charged SabPub.
Nevertheless, since the principles of inheritance Unix distinguishing human users in the system, Mac OS operating system is reliable and, even if happens, “command system destruction”, its effect is hardly released outside the user profile. Hypothetical situation – operation of vulnerability that allows the user to elevate their privileges to root and execute the corresponding code.
Also, installing antivirus on Mac OS can be justified from the point of view of an additional barrier to the proliferation of Windows-oriented malware, for example, when checking the external storage.
Actually, Mac-computer with a kind of Antivirus antiviral gateway through which it is possible to check and, if necessary, remove the malware and an external memory, thereby preventing their further circulation. This is particularly manifest in heterogeneous networks, which are now found almost everywhere – now is not uncommon for home use devices running Microsoft Windows, Android, Mac OS.
When it became quite obvious that the Mac OS is subject to virus threats, manufacturers of anti-virus solutions were offering their products for this platform.
Of course, the need to install anti-virus on Mac OS can be challenged and experienced users, as well as information security experts can cause a lot of arguments in defense of this position. But, on the other hand, those who just moved to this platform, as well as users of Mac OS, which can not rely on its experience in the security interest in a matter which antivirus for this operating system is best to use.
Among them there are both paid and free. And they both are different possibilities, in some way, even dramatically. Indicative in this respect, avast! Free Antivirus for Mac. Free, he at the same time, fully contains the key functionality of their famous colleagues paid. At the same time, Kaspersky Security for Mac and ESET NOD32 Cyber Security includes such useful features as cloud computing. This allows them to more quickly react to the threat, which increases the security level of the final product. In addition, in the Kaspersky Security for Mac includes parental controls and virtual keyboard.
Parental control, in our opinion, it is the function of the system of protection that should be in every class system or antivirus Internet Security, because the number of negative and destructive information that can be accessed children on the Internet than any reasonable amount. A limitation and control of the computer hanging on the whole beneficial to the development of the child.
Also worth noting Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac. Its structure includes an intrusion detection system entry-level, which allows to determine the vector of attack and neutralize the attack before it reaches the target and harm the data or the end device. In addition, in Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac has the ability to check files sent via IM iChat, which creates an additional barrier to the spread of malicious software.
In general, the above discussed functions antivirus to ensure safe operation of the computer is running Mac OS, as a direct potential victim of malware attacks, as well as blocking the gateway to the proliferation of Windows-oriented malware. At the same time, it should be noted that the number of Mac-oriented malware is still significantly less than the amount of their Windows-centric “brothers.” However, it is worth to mention that the lack of heuristic mechanisms detecting the Unix shell, and the executable format Mach-O somewhat reduces the degree of stability of this postulate – it is likely that today active and invisible to anti-virus solutions, there are other malware for Mac OS in unit form or in the form of interconnected networks (botnets).