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Posts tagged ‘botnet’

29
May

The State of Mac Malware

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the sudden increase in Mac-specific malware cropping up so far this year. First people raved about the fairly tame and unthreatening BlackHole RAT trojan, then Mac users had to watch out for a slightly more crafty but avoidable MACDefender trojan, and now there’s news of a more advanced malware kit (Weyland-Yutani Bot) that has the ability to steal data entered into Firefox (Safari and Chrome currently unaffected, but expected to follow soon). AppleCare has reportedly been receiving a significant number of calls about the MACDefender trojan, and has issued a support document on how to deal with it.

Clearly some change is in the air, but exactly how does it affect normal Mac users? I for one actively look for Mac-based malware (eg. MACDefender), and have never stumbled across it by accident. Maybe I need to surf on the ‘dark side’ of the web more often. I just wanted to give my take on recent events and the state of Mac malware, and why I don’t think there’s any reason to be too worried just yet.

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27
Oct

Mac OS X Java Trojan Horse: OSX/Koobface.A

Antivirus companies have discovered a new Java trojan horse, labeled OSX/Koobface.A (aka. Boonana), which spreads via social networks including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The Java applet masquerades as a video or photo gallery plugin, and requests access to the user’s computer.

If Allow is clicked, then the applet will attempt to obtain additional files from remote servers and join the computer to the Koobface botnet. Koobface is also known to try and steal credit card, and other personal information, from the user’s system.

I’d like to stress that this is a fairly non-event, and this kind of malware poses a low level of risk (hence the peaceful-looking blue triangle). It’s pretty clear that you shouldn’t allow websites, plugins and applets that you don’t trust, to access your computer. Just click Deny and that’s the end of it in this case. Snow Leopard does have some built-in anti-malware functionality, although I don’t know if or when it may be updated to detect Koobface. Either way, I wouldn’t run out to buy antivirus software just yet.

Note this trojan is not Mac OS X-specific, and also affects Windows and Linux systems.

Intego have a Security Memo with some additional details.

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