For many years, computer users were under the impression that if they used Apple products, they were protected.
The root of that concept is based on a time when internet usage was becoming pervasive and Microsoft Windows had a dominant market share in the personal computer industry. Internet browsers weren’t sophisticated and cybersecurity was not a priority issue for most users.
Attackers found a target-rich environment and took full advantage of it. While many attacks didn’t benefit the attackers in a personal or financial way, users still felt the sting of the payloads and disruptions that came with unprotected computers and operating systems that were designed to work in an offline environment.
At a time when Apple desktops had less than 3% of the market, malware authors didn’t have much reason to write a whole new set of code for such a small user base. Hence, Apple desktops just “seemed” to be more secure since there were less attacks heading their way.
Fast forward to current computing times: Apple has a much more significant market share of devices thanks to the success of the iOS-based iPhones and iPads. Naturally, security plays a prominent role in all coding and infrastructure decisions with the always-connected, online world for which those devices were designed. Apple completely controls the iOS environment which does add to the level of security that users can expect.
Since security is a moving target, even Apple has to publish updates to keep users secure. On July 9th, Apple released security updates for the following software products:
According to US-CERT, the vulnerabilities being addressed could allow an attacker to take control of an affected system.
When Apple is publishing security patches, they are doing their job and playing an important role in securing their users’ computing environments. It’s then up to the user to install the security updates at the earliest possible opportunity.