Mac Computers Increasingly Targeted by Hackers

A report from a computer security firm shows hackers are increasingly targeting Macintosh computers. It's an unhappy change for Apple, since the Mac has long been touted as more secure than Windows PCs.

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JOHN YDSTIE, host:

On Mondays we look at technology.

Today, we got a report from a computer security firm that shows hackers are increasingly targeting Mac computers. It's an unhappy change for Apple, since the Macintosh has long been touted as more secure than Windows PCs.

Cyrus Farivar has more.

CYRUS FARIVAR: Because of Apple's small market share, writing malware, viruses, worms and other kinds of nasty software simply isn't worth it. But a new report by F-Secure says that in the last few months there's been a noticeable uptick in the number of malware targeting the Mac.

Patrick Runald is a security researcher with F-Secure.

Mr. PATRICK RUNALD (Security Researcher, F-Secure): Obviously, Apple has had great success over the last few years, and not only with Macs but also with the iPod and the iPhone. So, I think, Apple generally are getting more attention these days from malicious people online than they did a few years ago.

FARIVAR: Since October, F-Secure has found over 100 new variants of malware for the Mac, up from a few dozen previously. Runald adds that on Windows, there are over half a million strains.

Scott McNulty, the lead blogger of The Unofficial Apple Weblog, says he's not worried.

Mr. SCOTT McNULTY (Lead Blogger, The Unofficial Apple Weblog): I think it's kind of overblown, and there's been no actual in the wild reports of anything happening, which for an operating system that's been out for five revisions is pretty darn good.

FARIVAR: F-Secure says that Mac and Windows users alike should practice common sense online. That means don't run or download any attachments if you're not sure of their origins.

For NRP News, I'm Cyrus Farivar.

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