Feeds

Apple fans targeted by smut-punting malware

Uh, it's a booby trap

Security for virtualized datacentres

VXers are targeting Mac fans via a pair of new malware-themed attacks, one of which is on offer through what purports to be a portal for adult videos.

The Jahlav-C Mac-specific Trojan poses as an ActiveX update needed to watch grumble flicks, as explained by ParetoLogic here. The same booby-trapped website, which runs code to detect whether surfers are using Mac or Windows PCs, is a equal opportunity infector that also deploys code designs to infect Windows PCs using similar social-engineering trickery.

In addition to the Trojan, Sophos discovered a new strain of the Mac OS X-specific Tored worm on Thursday.

Mac-specific malware remains a rarity compared to the hundreds of thousands of Windows-specific virus strains, of course. However, it would be a mistake for Mac fans to think they are immune from malware when downloading warez or hunting for porn. "It is becoming more and more common for hackers to use social engineering tricks - like telling surfers that they need to download a plugin on their Mac to watch a video - to weasel their way onto computers," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

"Once the malware is running on your computer, it can download further code from the internet - opening the door for your computer to be infected by scareware, send out spam, or become part of a zombie botnet. Windows users are used to fighting malware, but many Mac users are oblivious to the battle taking place for control of the public's computers."

Last year Apple flip-flopped on advice about whether Mac users ought to run anti-virus software. On a site devoted to the security features of Snow Leopard, the next version of its Mac OS X operating system, Apple states anti-virus software "may offer additional protection".

The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.

The security benefits of Macs over PCs have featured more prominently in Apple's marketing collateral, so the muted endorsement is not that surprising. Even Apple's grudging acknowledgment of the possible benefits of third-party anti-virus, in addition to built-in technologies such as sanding, was enough for Mac security specialist Intego to herald a change of heart in recognising the "virus and malware threat to Mac OS-X", as it put it. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.