Patch Tuesday May 2011 – More For Mac Than Windows

Well, it’s another Microsoft Patch Tuesday but lately there seems to be more happening involving malware for Mac users to worry about.

First Microsoft’s monthly update.

Window Update
This is what Window Update looks like in the start menu

After a huge release of patches last month, this month there is not too much for Patch Tuesday. Only one critical for a well kept Windows XP. There were some none critical updates available. You will have more if you are running Microsoft Office as at least one patch is specified for MS Office. I did need a restart.

Now, for the Mac users out there, this has not been a good month for the Mac OS.

First, right now, there is an unpatched vulnerability in Skype for the Mac OS that is very bad. Till Skype releases a patch, the best you can do is shut down Skype when you are not using it and only accept incoming traffic from your contacts.

*Update, the latest Skype update for Mac does fix the issue, but this was not “pushed” as it was not seen as important when first discovered. Now that the exploit is being used it is much more important. Make sure you have the latest version of Skype on your Mac and your OK.*

Also, there are fake anti-virus (the same type that has been a problem for Windows users for years) malware starting to crop up targeting the Mac OS. “I don’t need an anti-virus for my Mac” you say? How could you fall for a fake anti-virus if you don’t need one? Things are about to change for the Mac OS.

The last few weeks has seen the first of “Do-it-yourself-malware” kits targeting the Mac OS.

Around for years targeting Windows, do-it-yourself-malware kits allow someone to easily create malware using the latest vulnerabilities. Many Windows bot-nets have been set up using this type of software. It is relatively simple to for someone without any real programing skill to make his own customized malware. In other words, the Mac OS is going to be seeing the same targeting that the Windows OS has been facing for years and is no longer going to be exempt from viruses.

There are ome things Mac users need to start doing to keep their Mac’s clean from malware.

Start by having a decent password to log onto your computer. Make sure Safari is not set to automatically start any software you download (this vulnerability was used in some Mac targeting malware this last month). Make sure you update the OS and any software as soon as it is released. Lastly, it’s time to find a good reliable anti-virus software for your Mac. I would recommend Panda Antivirus for Mac as something to look at. I’ve been very impressed by their anti-virus for Windows computers. Panda Antivirus for Mac! Enjoy total security for your Mac Aff.

Google Chrome Logo
The Google Chrome Browser

Lastly, a French security company is claiming to have hacked Google Chrome for Windows.

So far, there is really only their claim that they have. They refuse to share their code with anyone not connected to the French government. Not even Google. There is a bit of a doubt about claiming to have cracked software and not producing the code that is used. Until the method used is released, we can’t know if it works and Google can’t fix it. If Google does find the vulnerability, they claim they will fix it and all the Chrome installations will be updated automatically. I guess all the world can do now is avoid any French websites like the plague (I am kidding about that – maybe).

Google Chrome is still the safest browser to be using.

That’s all for this patch Tuesday. Keep those computers updated! It makes life on the Internet much safer. I have several posts in the works about making your Internet a lot more fun too!