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Tsunami Trojan: First Mac attack based on Linux crack

Slips in Mac OS X backdoor, phones home

Security for virtualized datacentres

Malware writers have derived a new Trojan for Mac OS X by porting an older Linux backdoor Trojan horse onto another platform.

The newly discovered Tsunami Trojan is derived from an earlier Linux-infecting backdoor Trojan, called Kaiten, which phoned home from infected machines to an IRC channel for further instructions. Security firms are still in the process of analysing Tsunami but early speculation suggests it may be a DDoS attack tool.

"Mac users are reminded that even though there is far less malware in existence for Mac OS X than for Windows, that doesn't mean the problem is non-existent," writes Graham Cluley of net security firm Sophos.

"We fully expect to see cybercriminals continuing to target poorly protected Mac computers in the future. If the bad guys think they can make money out of infecting and compromising Macs, they will keep trying. My advice to Mac users is simple: don't be a soft target, protect yourself."

Mac Trojan authors have previously used Windows backdoor code but the Tsunami Trojan is the first case we've across, at least, where malware tricks from the world of *nix have been turned against Macs. ®

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