Feeds

Researchers dissect world's first Mac botnet

When zombie Macs attack

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Fresh research has shed new light on the world's first Mac OS X botnet, which causes infected machines to mount denial of service attacks.

Symantec researchers Mario Ballano Barcena and Alfredo Pesoli said the infections are the same ones described in this blog post from January.

In it, the blogger - a self-described designer and developer from Australia - said he awoke one morning to discover 100 per cent of his Mac laptop's resources were being consumed by a bunch of unfamiliar resources. After digging further, he found a foreign PHP script with root privileges was flooding an undisclosed website with data packets.

The botnet employs a peer-to-peer engine, encryption and a structure that allows it to dynamically adapt.

"The code indicates that, wherever possible, the author tried to use the most flexible and extendible approach when creating it - and therefore we would not be surprised to see a new, modified variant in the near future," the researchers write, according to ZDNet's Zero Day blog.

The botnet comes courtesy of two trojans dubbed OSX.Trojan.iServices.A and OSX.Trojan.iServices.B by Mac anti-virus provider Intego, which first documented them in January. The malware is surreptitiously included in copies of Apple's iWork 09 productivity suite and Adobe's Photoshop CS4 that are distributed on warez sites. Intego said three months ago more than 20,000 people had downloaded the rogue installers.

The Symantec research comes amid reports of a series of unpatched, actively-exploited holes in OS X and word that a researcher has figured out how to run shellcode on Apple's iPhone.

They are the latest reminder that Apple's growing market share - estimated to have reached about seven per cent in the fourth quarter of last year - hasn't been lost on malware authors. OS X users who have felt cavalier about installing unfamiliar titles on their machines have always done so at their peril, but that's especially true going forward.

According to the CBC, the Symantec researches add: "With malware authors showing an increasing interest in the Mac platform, we believe that more advanced [user interface] spoofing tricks may be seen in the future." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.