As far as I can tell from some quick research, there are still no true Mac viruses, a friend’s recent comment that there is a virus that can be installed on a Mac without user intervention does not appear to be correct. While the software in question can run automatically, if a certain option is enabled, and so then pop up a window which looks legitimate, the software can’t actually be installed on a Mac without user action (more below). If true, this is quite amazing considering that Macs have become fairly popular for home use (where there generally aren’t IT folks working to protect people from themselves all day like in the business world). There *are* several variants of a TROJAN which can be installed on a Mac but only through user intervention (requires the user to enter the admin password to install the software).
The number of “confirmed assaults” on government computer systems are on the increase, and its becoming more and more likely that some of the more serious threats to US and allied interests are originating in China. An attack on computers in the Canadian treasury (described at length in a NY Times article here and here is only the latest is a series of potential breaches). According to un-named “experts” (I hope it wasn’t HBGary), this attack seems to have originated in China suggesting that the attacks are being coordinated by the Chinese government. After all, what possible interest would your average bored teenage hacker have in the Canadian Federal budget? Since internet law is still in its infancy, here’s a question to debate: if the origin of these sorts of cyber attacks can be confirmed do they constitute an act of war? Its very likely that the US has its own team of coordinated cyber warriors working in a similar way against foreign interests, so be careful how you answer!