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Apple is asking Kaspersky for security advice

Kaspersky says Apple has invited the security vendor to help improve Mac OS security

Apple, whose Mac OS was once known for its rock-solid security, is seeking outside help to root out vulnerabilities.

Kaspersky CTO Nikolai Grebennikov in a published report said that Apple has invited the security vendor to help improve Mac OS security.

“We’ve begun an analysis of its vulnerabilities, and the malware targeting it,” Grebennikov said.

Grebennikov added that the Mac OS is “really vulnerable” to malware, and that Apple “doesn’t pay enough attention to security.” A recent study from Trend Micro showed that Apple reported more vulnerabilities than any other tech vendor in the first three months of 2012.

A bit of fear-mongering is expected from companies who are in the business of selling anti-virus software. Still, there are signs that the Mac OS isn’t the airtight platform that Apple once made it out to be.

The biggest ding to Apple’s reputation came thanks to Flashback, a strain of malware that was able to infect Macs when users visited compromised Websites. Flashback infected roughly 600,000 Macs according to security experts, making it the largest case of Mac malware to date. Apple has since patched the underlying Java vulnerability and issued a removal tool, but the company took flak from security experts for taking two months to deliver a fix after Oracle discovered the problem in Java.

Kaspersky has been a major critic of Apple’s security policies. Last month, founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky told CBR that Apple was “10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security.” The company has slammed Apple for being slow to address vulnerabilities and has called on the company to change its update cycle for patches.

Whether that will happen is still unclear, but at least Apple appears to be listening now.