Looking for a few recommended web sites for the Mac and Leopard. There are many Mac sites out there but would appreciate getting the benefit of your experience.
Often overlooked is the value of learning Mac OS X's Unix underpinnings.
Also, while Mac OS X can be made much safer than Windows significant issues are present.
I would highly recommend the Rixstep web site
and reading various articles there under "Learning Curve" and "Industry Watch" to learn more about Apple's implementation of Unix. As someone coming from Windows, you might find Where'd It Go II
useful. Also, on that site Cookie Tin Tips I through V
explain a bit about Mac OS X's version of Unix.
Macgeekery also is a good resource. This is a short article on Mac security tips.
On the Mac, not only must you run the program, but to do serious damage, such as erase your hard drive, you must also authorize it with your password.
The only possible protection is what the Mac does already ... require an administrator level password to be entered. There is no software program available that can prevent you the user from running a program that might be malicious.
Yes, giving away your admin password to a potentially malicious or poorly coded program is a key way in for people up to no good. Since, this gives the malicious or poorly coded program root access. In other words, access to just about everything.
And beyond that, it requires a deep enough hole in the operating system that the code can execute and replicate without user action or intervention.
However, it isn't always the case that getting root requires one enter an admin password at some point.
Is your system up to date & patched for this?...Huge, Crazy, Ridiculous OS X Security HoleARGAgent: Finishing Up?
But the fact is the design of the system just doesn't have the necessary holes.
Unfortunately, there still are significant holes, leaving open the potential for exploit.
For instance, this vulnerability described in this article, "Of Sticky Bits & Preferences"
. Also, there are further links at the bottom of that page that may be worth your time to read.Stupid Simple Root Exploit Remains in Mac OS X 10.5.5
I'm not sure why hackers do what they do, but it certainly has more to do with "see how good I am!".
True, organized crime and those involved with identify theft
have become increasingly behind malware and site hacking.
A few potential holes have been discovered, but a security patch is issued so quickly that hackers don't have time to figure out how to exploit it.
Apple isn't always that speedy with the patches even when they've been informed about them. Some of this is touched upon in this article, ARDAgent on Snow Leopard
What software program can you buy today that would prevent it? None ... because to write a program to protect your computer from a virus, the programmer has to know what the virus is and how it works.
Yes, that's something often clouded up by marketers and in reviews done by those who rely on advertising from such vendors to pay the bills. Anti-virus software and the like can only offer some level of protection against "know" viruses. One will find more value in doing safe surfing and email practices than purchasing anti-virus software.
Unfortunately, with regards to security it is not pure Unix under the hood. Apple has messed with the underlying Unix architecture
causing potential issues to occur.
It pays to educate oneself about the underlying Unix architecture and the issues with Apple's implementation/modifications of it.
• Further reading.
Two PDF's overviews on how to secure one's Mac can be found here... http://www.apple.com/support/security/guides/http://research.corsaire.com/whitepapers/technical.html
Sudos & Sudon'tshttp://rixstep.com/2/20070320,00.shtml
Way Too Much Sudo Funhttp://rixstep.com/2/20070612,00.shtml
The Hackers Handbook — Afterwordhttp://rixstep.com/2/2/20070824,00.shtml
Oomp-A: Hardening the Arteries Against the Chocolatehttp://rixstep.com/2/20060216,01.shtml
• Further web browsing security reading not specifically related to Mac OS X.
Phishing for Clueshttps://www.indiana.edu/~phishing/browser-recon/