INSECURITY VENDOR Panda Security has released anti-virus software that scans Apple's IOS for security threats.
The news that an insecurity outfit has dared to suggest that any operating system packaged by Apple has insecurities is likely to draw gasps of incredulity from the fanbois in Apple's bastion of smugness. However Panda Security deems it appropriate to start providing tools to protect Apple's fanbois as the number of devices that run Mac OS X or IOS increase.
Ivan Fermon, SVP of product management at Panda Security summed up the relative lack of threats to Apple devices as being due to security by obscurity rather than better design. Fermon said, "When Apple reaches 15 percent marketshare worldwide, which Panda expects will happen very soon, we predict that hackers will begin to aggressively target attacks against this platform. The rapid increase in use of Ios powered devices - Iphones, Ipods, Ipads - is also making the Mac platform a much more attractive target."
The firm said that it tracks around 5,000 strains of malware targeted at Mac users and that figure is growing at a rate of 500 a month. Panda also said that there are 170,000 cross-operating system macro viruses that can snare fanbois who are ignorant of security.
Panda also has damning figures for Apple's supposed software prowess. It reported that 34 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X were reported in 2009, and it said that figure has jumped six-fold to 175 so far in 2010. Apple fanbois might point to that number being lower than the count of those for Microsoft's Windows operating system, but really, that's not a benchmark any operating system vendor should feel proud in use for comparison when it comes to security vulnerabilities.
The scanning results for IOS devices are perhaps the most surprising and alarming for Apple. Unless jailbroken, the only way to install applications on IOS devices is through the carefully controlled App Store. The fact that Panda is advertising the need for security on IOS should be a source of embarrassment for Apple. After all, Jobs' Mob justifies its censorship on the App Store by claiming that it is a safe place for all.
Although insecurity vendors play on consumer fear, it is highly likely that as Apple's market share grows its technologically challenged users will become targets for malware authors. Perhaps it says more about the saturation of the Windows anti-virus software market that insecurity vendors view Apple as their next growth opportunity. µ
X marks the smart home
The lens said the better
Samsung is planning a camera 'overhaul'