SecureMac.com
About SecureMac Advertise Security Consulting Mac Security Store Send Feedback

Site Information
Site Background
Who runs the site
Advertising
Security Consulting
Employment/Jobs
Feedback Form

SecureMac Software
PrivacyScan

 

Mac OS X Security
sudo buffer overflow exploit + fix
Disable Single User Boot Mode
Malevolence - Dumping Passwords
nidump security
Startup Security - Open Firmware Password Protection

Mac OS X Network Security
SAINT
Secure FTP Wrapper
Ettercap - sniffer interceptor logger
Snort - Network Intrusion Detection System
SSH Admin
SSH Helper
xnu - enable MAC Address spoofing


Mac OS X Virus

Mac OS X Firewalls
Firewalk Firewall Utility
NetBarrier X

Mac OS X App Sec.

Mac OS X Encryption
LittleSecrets
GPGMail - PGP Functionality

Mac OS X DoS

SecureMac Library
Mac Cable Modem Security
Mac Security Auditing
Mac OS X Security Understanding
Mac OS X Security Second Lessons
Mac OS X Security Third Lesson
Mac OS X Single User Mode Root Access
Mac OS X Shareware Firewalls
Mac OS X Secure Installation
Cable & DSL Connections - Security Measures
Better Safe than Sorry
Apple.com Security Resources
Marketing Macintosh Security Programs

Better Safe than Sorry - Mac Security

Dr. Mac
By Bob LeVitus


We Mac users have a distinct advantage over our less fortunate Windows-using brethren (and sistren)-Macs are far less likely to suffer damage from an attack by a virus, worm, or even a malicious teenager. On the other hand, you shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security-your Mac is not immune to viruses, worms and other intrusions. Attacks that target Macs, while rare, do exist.

This subject is too big and too important to cover in a single column, so this week I'll focus on new Internet security issues raised by Mac OS X. I'll follow up next week with information about viruses and worms-who is at risk and why, as well as how to protect your Mac regardless of which version of Mac OS you choose.

They say knowledge is power, so here are some of the basic tenets of network security for Mac OS X. First and foremost, if you use Mac OS X the way Apple shipped it, there's only slightly more risk than under OS 9, even if you have an "always on" Internet connection such as cable or DSL. But if you enable certain options, most notably root access, FTP access, Web sharing, File sharing, or remote login (all of which are disabled by default in OS X), you increase your susceptibility to malicious attacks. While it's generally fine to use these services if you need them, you should read up on potential security issues before you enable any of them.

Internet Security for Your Macintosh: A Guide for the Rest of Us, by Alan Oppenheimer and Charles Whitaker, from Peachpit Press, is an excellent place to start. It's easy to understand and will help you figure out what measures, if any, are appropriate for your situation. I'm a RoadRunner cable modem user-it quickly convinced me I should install a personal firewall. (I tried several and settled on Norton Personal Firewall, which was easy to configure and use and works great in both OS 9 and OS X.) After installing it I discovered that dozens of unwanted attempts to access my Mac are made each day. Fortunately, they're almost always looking for a susceptible Windows machine, so they do no harm. But having the firewall still makes me feel better.

A complete discussion of hardware and software firewalls, Network Address Translation (NAT), and other security measures is way beyond the scope of this column. If you don't want to buy a whole book about network/Internet security, here are a few good Web sites to visit:

http://www.macintouch.com/security.html
http://developer.apple.com/internet/macosx/securityintro.html
http://www.securemac.com/
http://www.macwrite.com/macsecurity/
There is one Mac OS X 10.1 security issue I think all OS X users should be aware of, because it could affect anyone who uses Apple's otherwise-wonderful iDisk with Mac OS X 10.1. According to the guys who wrote the aforementioned book (who are also Mac security experts as well as the founders of Open Door Networks; read the complete story at http://www.opendoor.com/macosxalert.html and ), "Using iDisk under Mac OS X 10.1 could easily result in disclosure of your password and full access to your iDisk by others. And since your iDisk password is also used for your mac.com email account, the hacker would also have access to that account as well."

Apple will surely fix this soon, but until then, keep it in mind and be careful when you use your iDisk with Mac OS X 10.1 until an update is released.

To sum things up: If you're at risk, you should, without question, take the appropriate steps to protect your Mac. My advice: Educate yourself, use common sense, and take the appropriate precautions. If you do, your Mac will probably remain safe; if you don't, you're likely to be sorry.

CONTINUE TO PART 2
Viruses, Worms and Hackers (Oh My!)


FEEDBACK TIME!


Enter Email Address:

Enter your message:


Select Either of These Two Buttons


Bob LeVitus is a leading authority on the Mac OS and the author of 37 books, including Mac OS X For Dummies and The Little iTunes Book. E-mail comments to boblevitus@boblevitus.com.
Copyright 2001 Bob LeVitus. All Rights Reserved.
This column originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle on 10/12/01 and was given permission to republish on SecureMac.com


Security + OS
DiskLock
PowerBook Security Control Panel
Empower Pro
FileGuard
FreeGuard
FoolProof
Deus Lock Master
OnGuard
Keys Off
LockOut
MacOS Algorithm
Modem Security
Password Key
PGPuam
PPF
Shift Key Suite
Stealth Signal
SuperLock Lite
SuperLock Pro
Web-Confidential


Macintosh Viruses
Disinfectant
Sophos Anti-Virus
Norton AntiVirus
Nav 7 Nav 6 Nav X
Virex - Oct
VirusBarrier - Netupdate
vScan - Discontinued.

Mac Physical Security


Macintosh Firewalls
DoorStop Firewall
Firewall Q & A
IPNetSentry
NetBarrier
Norton Personal Firewall

Mac Spyware & Privacy
Monitorer
NetShred - Delete Files Safely

Network Security
MacAnalysis
Oyabun Tools
WDTech RAE
ToolDaemon

Application Security Issues
AIM - AOL Instant Messenger
Back Orifice
Eudora E-Mail Client
Internet Configure
IE 5.1, OE 5.1, Powerpoint, Excel Vulnerability
MS Personal webServer
NetBus
Outlook Express 4.5 Password Flaw
SubSeven
Sub7ME Server

Resource Info
AppleShare Server Info

Mac OS Encryption
EnScript
FGP
FileTwister
ForgotIt?
GenPass
MacLockSmith
My-Privacy
My Secret
PGPi
PGPhone
PGP Personal
PGP Freeware
PowerCrypt-dev
Private File
Quick Encrypt
SubRosa Utilities
Tresor

Deleting Files
Eraser Pro
ShredIt

Backups

Apple Hardware

MacOS DoS
Mac Attack


All material (c) 2014 SecureMac.com and respected owners