Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Mar 2011 00:28 UTC
Mac OS X It's sad to see that even after all these years, we still have to write articles like this one. It's all over the web right now: a new backdoor Mac OS X trojan discovered! Code execution! Indicative of rise in Mac malware! Until, of course, you actually take a look at what's going on, and see that not only is it not in the wild, it can't really do anything because it's a beta.
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RE: Maybe I'm crazy...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 1st Mar 2011 10:20 UTC in reply to "Maybe I'm crazy..."
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But I don't give a damn if a piece of malware can gain root privileges on my desktop when measured against the greater harm that results from it getting and sending my personal information. This old mentality of "oh, well, it can't gain root so it's no big deal" needs to stop dead. Which is worse, my system being brought down or otherwise affected... or my personal data being snagged?

Depends on the use of that desktop, really.

If it's a personal computer with only one user set up and one person ever using it, then sure, there's not much of a difference with root access or not. Whatever infects it has access to everything on that user account. Similarly, multiple people using one account can be just as bad--if not worse, because one person could get the infection and everyone suffers, and it only takes one person to start it all. And there's far more people who have no clue what they're doing than there are people who know computer security basics.

If it's a family computer with multiple user accounts set up and decent security, if one user's account gets infected all of the other users are generally safe, at least from the effects of a spreading infection. Depending on how groups are set up, reading other users' data can be possible, but Debian for example sets up each user with their own group to prevent this kind of thing. If it gains root though, not only is that a sure-fire way for it to be able to spread and infect other users' accounts, it has no restrictions on file access whatsoever.

So root access, IMO, *can* be much worse. It just depends on the situation and how the machine is set up.

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