So the virginity of OS X has now gone. Someone has actually written a worm that attacks and propgates via OS X. Of course it has to work quite hard to compromise the Mac and you’d have to be a total fool to get caught but that doesn’t mean there won’t be people that will fall.
There is also news of a way to get Safari to run any shell script you like. This is a weakness that has yet to be exploited but it may well happen.
These also increases the probability that someone else will write an “improved” version that doesn’t require as much help from the user or will compromise more of the system.
So now is a good time to make sure you have your Anti-Virus software up to date. If, like me, you work for a company that has a license allowing you to run their anti-virus software on your personal laptop then make sure you have the latest version and you are set to get the latest virus definitions on a frequent basis.
If, like a couple of my readers, you are prone to spend months at a time away from your corporate net wandering around Australia’s more remote regions then you probably want to rip out the corporate licensed software – which often requires a corporate server to get updates – and replace it with something else.
You’ll also want something else if you have a home computer. The good news is you won’t have to pay for it. ClamAV is now one of the best anti-viral packages you can get, available for easy install on most platforms and with all the functionality and ease of use you might want. The Mac version is actually much better at grabbing updates than the most popular commercial package out there, the one that the University I work for insists you use. If you find yourself in that situation with a corporate laptop then I recommend you let the IT department install their commercial package and then download and install ClamAV for your operating system.