Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »


Dino Dai Zovi, an independent security researcher who specializes in Macs, says that Iozzo’s work is “very interesting,” particularly given the difficulties that he needed to overcome to make the stealthy technique work on OS X.

Dai Zovi says that, for now, there are few Mac attacks sophisticated enough to need protection of this kind. But he adds that the technique could prove an effective way to get past advanced antivirus software in the future.

Attackers haven’t focused much on the Mac to date because its smaller audience means smaller potential gains. But Dai Zovi notes that this is starting to change, and he says that researching the system’s vulnerabilities now should give defenders time to prepare for future malware.

Iozzo says that it may take time for Apple to respond to his technique because it exploits fundamental elements of the operating system’s structure that can’t be changed with a simple software patch. He says that it may require a larger upgrade, such as the introduction of the new version of OS X, called Snow Leopard, which is scheduled to ship in 2010.

In the meantime, Iozzo says that users can protect themselves by keeping their systems up to date with any security patches released for OS X. Since the technique relies on other flaws that an attacker might exploit, users should focus on reducing those other threats as much as possible, he says.

However, the technique could soon pose a threat to another kind of device. Iozzo says that he is currently working with another security researcher to extend his technique to the iPhone.

8 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Technology Review

Tagged: Computing, Apple, security, hacker, Mac, rootkit

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »