Feeds

'Kissing couple' Trojan sent to slurp fanbois' data... Syrian Electronic Army fingered

She'll pop yer scuppers, but can't scuttle ye ... for now

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A “low risk” Mac Trojan seemingly linked to the Syrian Electronic Army has surfaced on the web.

The Mac-specific Trojan comes disguised as a picture of a kissing couple. If opened, it creates a back door on compromised Apple computers.

"This appears to be a targeted attack, though the method of delivery is not yet known," a blog post by Lysa Myers of Mac security specialists Intego explains. "So, while this has been affecting users in the wild, the overall threat level appears to be low."

The Trojan is an application disguised as a picture file – the .app file-extension is not visible by default. Possible delivery mechanisms include as an attachment to emails or from a compromised website frequented by targets.

If installed, the Trojan opens a back door that phones home to a command-and-control server. This server is currently down.

However, during testing, Intego was able to connect to the C&C server, which collected system information before downloading an image file depicting the eagle-themed coat of arms of the Syrian Electronic Army, a notorious bunch of hacktivists loyal to the Bashar Assad's regime.

The SEA is best known for hijacking the Twitter feeds of Western media organisations using phishing to push propaganda messages but it has also engaged in website defacement and DNS redirection-style attacks, such as a recent assault against the New York Times website.

Malware attacks, including spyware flung at the computers of human right activists, have long been a feature of the wider Syrian civil war but have not been a tactic favoured by the SEA, at least up till now.

The SEA has yet to comment on the attack one way or another. It would be naive to assume the malware is the work of the hacktivists simply because it includes a logo referring to the SEA and for this and other reasons the authorship of the malware remains unclear. ®

Bootnote

Asked directly whether the SEA had anything to do with creating the trojan the group denied any involvement. A representative of the prolific hackers told El Reg:

"No, it's not associated with us."

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
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
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
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.