cyber security · Cyber warfare · Cybercrime · Cybersecurity · cyberwar · Russia

Targeting Macs and Apple Products?

Apple has a superb vetting process for all Apps distributed via the App Store, at least so I’ve been told. iPhones, iPads, MacBooksand other Apple products are

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
iPhone Image via CrunchBase

almost ubiquitous, everbody I know seems to use them (especially the ones involved in cyber security). Anytime I want to find a restaurant, go for a ride or check the weather, there’s an app for that. I don’t think much about security on my iPhone, nobody is reminding me.  Especially nobody from the government…

So when I was told of a new distribution system which avoids Apple scrutiny, my alarm antennas began quivering, much like a spidey (aka Spiderman) sense.  Now combine this with who is doing this, Russian developers, and I get an even more dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

For years many of us in the cybersecurity and cyber warfare fields have been predicting the next series of war-like actions in cyberspace would be taking place on cell phones aka smart phones.  I’ve been asking around about security suites for my smart phone, only to be told “your phone has a built in security suite”, to which I respond: bullshit.  Show me.  I’m not from Missouri, but please show me, demonstrate to me, tell me how my smart phone is being protected.

Winn Schwartau, Chairman of the Board of Directors to Mobile Active Defense and author of “Information Warfare“, has been preaching Smart Phone defense for years. Mobile Active Defense seems to be one of the only firms I’ve seen concentrating on defending our smart phones.  We’ve already seen a number of low-level attacks and Winn has been a strong advocate of proactively defending against these developing threats.

Are they our only hope? Is this our first public glimpse of an attempt to install malicious, non-vetted apps onto our smart phones on a large scale?

3 thoughts on “Targeting Macs and Apple Products?

  1. General consensus is that Apple products don’t need protecting because nobody writes malware for them. This has been the case for decades because their market share wasn’t significant. The desktop and laptop market share is getting into numbers where it’s about to be a problem. In fact a Java trojan was recently discovered to have infected over half a million Macs in the wild.

    Move to the smartphone category though, and Apple is king. They have a majority market share of smart phones. If malware makers are targeting anything, they’re targeting iPhone’s. I would think Apple would be the first line of defense with regard to security on their own devices. And I know a little bit about how their apps run in a “sandbox” for added security. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. We need to take an active approach to preventing malware on smartphones.

    I hope the new HackStore raises red flags for more people, especially being from Russia.

  2. Isn’t the history of warfare telling us a story like on transformation? There was soldier on soldier in the 19th century and before, there was soldier on civilian population in WW I followed by the industrialized war. After that there was a war of ideologies, followed by operations other than war in the aftermath of the Cold War, and now there is information age war, a war of ideas with people sharing ideas and expectations 24/7 around the world. And what’s next? Cyber War has already showed a taste of its potential. And now think of a war of devices with smart phones fighting each other rather than soldiers loosing their lifes? Or Cloud War with one guy’s cloud affecting another one’s. Take it for granted, whatever next generation warfare will look like, it will come.

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