Feeds

Apple showers love on Mac malware protection

Feeds Snow Leopard's neglected Xprotect

High performance access to file storage

For only the second time in 19 months, Apple has updated the signatures used to protect Mac users against malware attacks.

An update released Monday for Mac OS X 10.6, aka, Snow Leopard, adds detection for a trojan known as OSX.OpinionSpy. The malware comes bundled with Mac screensavers and applications available on various websites, according to Marco Preuss , a researcher with antivirus provider Kaspersky Labs. Once installed, OpinionSpy mines personal information entered into Safari, Firefox and elsewhere and sends it to servers controlled by the attackers.

Kaspersky has seen just 13 OpinionSpy infections since the beginning of the year, mainly by users located in India.

OpinionSpy warning delivered by Snow Leopard

The addition brings the total number of malware signatures included in Snow Leopard to four. The malware protection debuted in an OS X beta released in mid 2009 with signatures for just two well-known Mac trojans, known as RSPlug and iServices. Apple later updated the malware protection to detect a backdoor threat known as HellRTC, which was detected in April, according to Mac AV provider Intego.

The protection, which many are calling Xprotect, provides a popup window that warns users that the program they are trying to install “will damage your computer” and should be moved to trash. The warning is provided only when the files are downloaded using Safari, Firefox, Mail, Entourage, iChat and a handful of other applications. According to an analysis from 2009, the window is not activated if the same malicious file has been downloaded using Skype or transferred from a DVD, CD or thumb drive.

It's unclear what the criteria is for adding signatures to Xprotect. Mac security experts say the number of known malware applications that target OS X is probably in the hundreds.

The addition was part of a monster package of Snow Leopard security patches that fixed 56 vulnerabilities, including one that researcher Charlie Miller had hoped to use two weeks ago at the annual Pwn2Own hacker contest. The exploit went unused because another contestant drew a higher lottery number and was able to compromise the Mac dedicated to the competition first.

At least 45 of the bugs Apple fixed on Monday made it possible for attackers to execute malicious code, according to Apple's advisory. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.