Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Apple Is Suddenly A Target

Ready for a little nostalgia?  Here's an ad from Apple that used to be part of their famous Apple vs. PC campaign.

Seriously, that was only 2 years ago.  Wanna go back further in time?

Yeah, that's Apple taking a swing at Vista when it came out.  It's especially taking aim the User Account Control that was introduced in Vista but toned down a bit in Windows 7.

Ok, so why am I bringing up the past you ask?  It's because it leads up to 2012 where all of a sudden Apple is much more frequently being targeted for hacking and viruses.  Earlier this year, half a million Mac users were subject to Flashback.  Last month, a Wired reporter excruciatingly detailed how a hacker was able to hack his Apple ID and erased his iPhone, MacBook and iPad.  Today a hacker group called AntiSec released to the public 1 million Apple IDs that it hacked off an FBI owed laptop.  They claim to have 11 million more where that came from.  If you're an avid Apple device user, you'd probably be right to be a little nervous right about now.

I don't want to start a Mac vs. PC (STFU Linux users!) flame war.  Truth be told I want you guys to be safe whatever you're using (Seriously Linux users.  STFU!).  I don't blame you.  I blame Apple.

See, in their attempt to push their product (which they've done exceedingly well at thanks to the late, great Steve Jobs) they forgot to warn you that there's a whole world of hurt waiting outside your cute, cuddly little iPad.  The reason nobody really wanted to hurt Apple was because it wasn't big enough to take seriously.  That is until 2012.

Take a look at this chart I snagged from Wikipedia.
Windows right now owns around 69% of the market share.  Apple is pushing 18%.  18% isn't chump change though.  In fact, the Mac platform has been booming since late last year.  And the iPad has to date been practically untouchable in the tablet market.  This, my friends, is why Apple is now a target.  There are now enough people using the platform to make messing with it worthwhile.

What we're slowly discovering though is that unlike Microsoft and Google who are used to being the target of malfeasance, Apple is only just coming to grips with their surge in popularity.  Apple's like that nerdy girl with the glasses that got a makeover.  Now all the football players want to take her out and all the cool girls hate her guts. The more popular you get, the greater that pool of people that wants to take a crack at you.

Is Apple ready to take on the cyber-miscreants?  Well they better be if they want to protect their market share.  Part of the reason Apple has such huge following is that they've always pushed the security of their products.  That carefree ain't-no-bugs-on-me attitude is what brought in all the cool kids.  In truth there was no security.  Everyone simply thought it a better use of their time to target the bigger guns.  Guess what Apple?  You're a big gun now.

1 comment:

  1. ok, i use windows, mac and linux - but i promise to be impartial ;-).

    it's all about market share. certainly, the apple os has a lot of 'sandboxing' features that make it more difficult to get away with making major changes...

    but people still click things they should not and visit sites that they are warned not to open... and more novices are getting apple os due to their new cache thanks to the ios devices making the desktop and navigation more intuitive to them. more potential victims = more attempts at incursion.

    there have always been malware and viruses targeted at macs, but now there will be more.