Feeds

Java-based malware tries Mac-smacking cross-platform attack

Write once, pwn anywhere

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Malware-writers have developed a Java-based, equal-opportunity botnet Trojan in an apparent bid to infect more machines outside the Windows ecosystem.

IncognitoRAT uses source code and libraries that allow it to attack both Windows and Mac machines, at least in theory. Only the Windows version of the malicious downloader has been spotted actually spreading, McAfee reports.

"The original propagation vector of IncognitoRAT is a Windows executable, but apparently it was created using the tool JarToExe, which includes, among other features, the ability to convert .jar files into .exe files, to add program icons and version information, and protect and encrypt Java programs," explains McAfee researcher Carlos Castillo. "The victim's machine has to have the Java Runtime Environment installed and must be online. As soon as the file is executed, it starts downloading a ZIP file with a pack of Java-based libraries to perform several remote activities."

Once successfully executed, the malware establishes remote control of compromised systems, allowing criminal hackers to either control or extract and upload private information from compromised devices.

Cross-platform malware is rare but not unprecedented. The more widespread use of Mac machines is bound to make the platform a more attractive target for virus writers and other miscreants. Whether they will succeed is another question, but several vulnerabilities in Apple's software have been revealed through various editions of the annual CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacking competition, so it's certainly possible. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.