It is a warning that should be taken seriously any day and year. Never mind that this time it comes from one of the leading vendors of security software and anti-virus products. McAfee might have the most to gain if security threats start hitting our computers in increasing numbers, but we, the people, have the most to lose if one piece of malicious code gets through.
Close to 10 million new pieces of malicious code were catalogued this year alone. It peaked in the first six months of 2010. As McAfee warns, Apple consumers who are relatively buffered against malware attacks cannot fall back on old comforts. In April, McAfee Labs discovered the Mac-based Trojan known as "OSX/HellRTS," which reads or modifies the contents of the clipboard or plays tricks on the user like opening and closing the CD drive.
"We do not want to overstate this threat. But it serves as a reminder that in this age of cybercrime, data theft and identity theft users of all operating systems and devices must take precautions.”
One of the reasons given for the upward curve of malicious attacks could be the fact that malware sneaks in behind important dates and events.
For instance, the World Cup saw a deluge of Internet information. As user activity surges, malicious code wait silently to entrap unsuspecting users as they click on infected links.
Even without the prod of such dire warnings, it pays to have a firewall and anti-virus software installed as the first line of defense.