No, it is still true… your Mac is still more secure than a Windows PC. Whether it be because the MacOS is more secure or that there aren’t enough Macs out there for the criminals to bother with, the net result is you are still better protected. However Microsoft uses a technology in their Office suite that is easily hacked and can be used to undo all that security (or obscurity) in one swift stroke.
Visual Basic is a technology that Microsoft has used since Bill Gates was in short pants to deliver automated tasks in Word or Excel. Open one of these loaded documents and it can perform automated tasks and throw up dialog boxes to help you enter information, etc. A very sexy technology indeed – turning a Word document into a kind of application – but it comes with a sting in the tail.
Essentially how this virus works is; someone sends you a Word or Excel document and when you open that file the Visual Basic script fires up and runs a malicious script. In this particular case, the malicious script figures out what operating system you are running and then downloads files from a special URL in order to turn your Mac into a spam bot or God knows what else.
The best way to avoid this is to a) be very wary of Word or Excel documents that come from untrusted or unexpected sources and b) disable Automatic Macros in Word.
- Open Word
- Click on the Word Menu and choose Preferences
3. Go to Security
4. Ensure that Macro Security is checked