A few bad Apples

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

Maybe you know that there is an ancient pagan tradition, performed in Apple orchards in January called Wassailing. It involves a bunch of loons visiting the orchard dressed in the pagan style who proceed to sing to or ‘wassail’ the trees and ask the Gods to look after the Apples. There is an amusing Guardian article about it here.

Well it might be time for us all to start wassailing our Apple products. According to recent reports, OS X is coming under attack via Word files infected with rogue Python code. Once the user (confident that his Apple is already immune, since it actually has come from The Gods) opens the Word file, some Python code runs that proceeds to download a malware payload.

The good news is that the malware isn’t terribly advanced and does not survive a three-fingered salute (we know that is for Windows machines, we just love the term).

The bad news is that it looks like this is the thin edge of the wedge and more nastiness is almost certainly to follow.

If you are amongst the sane minority and use a MAC it is becoming absolutely essential that you:

  • Install some anti-virus software (we use Sophos)
  • Make sure your browsers are up-to-date
  • Make sure your browser security levels are appropriate
  • Don’t open documents from people you don’t know
  • If you do open a document and are asked to enable Macros. DONT!

There is a decent write up about the debacle here.

In other Apple news, it has been revealed by a security researcher working for Elcomsoft, that Safari User’s browsing histories have been stored (hidden, but available) in the iCloud, even when they have been deleted from the host device.

This is pretty scary stuff. Although it has now been magically fixed by the Apple Gods, one must wonder how much of this information has been used to research targets for identity fraud, blackmail or divorce proceedings? Read all about it (from our pal Graham Cluley) here.

So if you don’t want to wassail your Apples, get serious about securing them and maybe re-delete your Safari browsing horrid histories before it’s too late.

If you fancy an Apple product that definitely works, look no further than here. Guaranteed worm and virus free.

If you would like to discuss the rise in attacks on Apple products, please contact us at: enquiries@itcsecure.com or 020 7517 3900.

Author: Kevin Whelan

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