Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
In Stephen King’s apocalyptic horror novel The Stand, a government-created virus escapes into the wild and kills most of the people on Earth. About two years ago, a similar scenario almost came true–but, fortunately for living creatures the bug was the U.S.-and-Israeli-made Stuxnet malware. The unintended victim was Chevron’s computer network.
Stuxnet was the highly sophisticated worm that successfully infiltrated Iran’s nuclear enrichment plants in 2010. According to The Wall Street Journal, Stuxnet wasted no time infecting friends as well as foes:
Symantec just released its annual Internet Threat Security Report, which offers a nice wrap-up of the last year in cybersecurity. The company’s software blocked 5.5 billion total attacks in 2011, versus 3 billion in 2010; 42 percent of mailboxes targeted for attack are “high level executives, senior managers, and people in R&D,” which is pretty alarming if you’re trying to protect IP.
That’s all useful intel for IT and security pros. But parts of the report read… a little random. Betabeat found this so noticeable, we picked out a few of our favorite facts, selected for wtfery rather than newsworthiness:
Freedom from fear of viruses, malware, botnets, and other digital nasties has long been a major benefit of Mac ownership. But today brings sad tidings: That carefree attitude will soon be no more.
Of course, Macs were never protected by some super-secret security technology, but largely by simple lack of interest on the part of bad actors. Apple simply didn’t own a big enough slice of the market to make Macs worth their while. But those days are now done. Ars Technica reports that, in a press conference yesterday, Kaspersky Lab security researchers were blunt: “Mac OS X invulnerability is a myth.”