Macs aren’t as safe as they once were from hackers. It’s the math really: more hackers trying to find more ways to infiltrate the popular brand puts them at greater risk. Patrick Wardle, Director of Research at the security firm Synack, has specialized in identifying vulnerabilities in Apple environments. Wardle, veteran of NASA and the NSA, has been working against a security weakness that allows malware to access the webcams and microphones of Mac users to make surreptitious recordings.
Wardle presented his paper, Gettting Duped, this week. He explains how OS X malware like Eleanor, Crisis, Mokes and others can be used to spy on unsuspecting Mac users. Fortunately Wardle also explains how to prevent it, though he admits some instances of surreptitious recording are extremely difficult to detect. For those instances, Wardle has developed a tool called OverSight to alert users whenever “a process accesses the webcam” — that is, beyond one’s own use of it. OverSight is a free download on Wardle’s website.