Computer users tired of spyware and viruses should consider switching to Macintosh computers, says Sophos in its new "Security Threat Management Report." The report ranks the top ten malware threats of the past six months along with outline current and future security threats. Hacker primarily target Windows machines and the report claims the Macintosh will continue to be a "safer place," at least for a while.
The Sober worm took the top spot garnering 22.4% of the total malware caught by Sophos. The worm was embedded in spoofed emails that appeared to be from the CIA or FBI. The Netsky or Kama Sutra worm was a distant second at 12.2%. That worm was often attached to adult-oriented pictures and movies.
According to Sophos, the United States continues to lead the pack in spam production with China a close second. The USA produced 23.4% of the world’s spam while China produced 20.5%. However, Sophos points out that Asia as a whole produces almost twice the amount of spam as the United States.
Ransomware and rootkits apparently are two of the most troubling emerging threats. Ransomware is usually distributed as a Trojan horse that then encrypts important files. Victims are then instructed to pay anywhere from $11 to $300 to have the files unencrypted. Sophos mentions that rootkits are increasing in sophistication and even briefly talks about the Sony rootkit incident.
The report makes a rather bold claim that security-minded consumers may want to switch to Apple Macintosh computers because of the "continued dominance of Windows-based threats". While there has been malware code released for Macs, Sophos says this hasn’t resulted in any "in the wild" infections. "It seems likely that Macintosh will continue to be a safer place for computer users to be for some time to come," the firm said.