The long standing question, “Do Apple Macs get viruses?” has now been answered, and it looks to be pretty gnarly.
In an article by Wired Magazine, two researchers have discovered multiple vulnerabilities that affect the firmware of not only PC’s, but MAC’s as well. The specific attack, named Thunderstrike 2, bypasses a user’s OS and targets a systems option ROM on peripheral devices. This malicious attack could be implemented through a phishing email or malicious website without the user’s knowledge. Sounds exhilarating doesn’t it? What does this actually mean? The Thunderstrike 2 worm has the capabilities to implant itself onto the firmware of an infected computer, which cannot be easily removed. From their the worm can control almost any aspect of the computer. So, the question to “Do Apple Macs get viruses?” is Yes!
There is a fundamental problem behind all these firmware worms being brought to light over the last couple years, and that is a lack of security on the lowest level of computing. Malicious code hidden in the darkest places on a computer where not even Anti-virus can reach, which makes recognizing and rehabilitating infected computers extremely difficult.
Will there ever be a level of protection against attacks like these, and if so, when?
Source: Wired Magazine