New Mac Virus is a Worm, But Can't Pose Threat Due to Amateur Mistake
May 7, 2009 9:06 AM
comment(s) - last by
The recent worm/trojan attacking Apple's Macs is relatively harmless due to its inability to complete its email attack. However, its a sign that Apple users may have to stock up for some future de-worming.
Virus proves insignificant, but may be a sign of things to come
A trojan virus
attacking Apple computers
, transmitted via pirated iWork software, gained significant attention as it was one of the first viruses to strike the OS X platform. OS X, the operating system of choice for Mac computers, has enjoyed relative safety from OS-tailored attacks thanks to its small market share, though it has become increasingly vulnerable to
cross-platform application-level exploits
The new virus, written in RealBasic, is an
ambitious, but decidedly amateurish
effort. Comments in the code state that the virus's goal is to create the "First Mac OS X Botnet." The virus also tries to steal email addresses, record keystrokes, and transmit itself via attach hard drives.
Some news outlets reported the virus, dubbed Tored, was a worm; others reported it was a trojan. It turns out it's both -- or at least tries to be. Both the email theft and replication to attached drives mimic viral worms like the
. However, the SMTP server that the virus tries to forward itself via is currently inactive. Thus it is currently limited to trojan-style attacks, via the malware-bundled software.
A trojan typically refers to a virus that users unwittingly download and install. A worm, on the other hand, can transmit itself over a network, via email or remote login. Transmission via infected USB is a gray area -- some refer to such viruses as worms, others, trojans.
The virus is perhaps the first "e-mail aware" trojan to attack Macs. While there have been several Apple-specific trojans over the last few years, this appears to be the first virus to
to behave as a worm as well. This behavior represents a new kind of attack to the Mac platform, even if this particular attack was poorly executed.
States Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, "A lot of Mac fans think that for something to be a worm then it requires no user interaction to spread. Although there are some Windows worms like that (for instance, Sasser and Code Red), many of the pieces of malware that we consider to be worms (for instance, The Love Bug, Anna Kournikova, etc.) did require user interaction and spread quite successfully."
Perhaps the most amusing aspect of the new virus was that its would-be emails featured this message, in hopes of targeting Macs -- "For Mac OS X ! :(If you are not on Mac please transfer this mail to a Mac and sorry for our fault :)"
Mr. Cluley states, "The good news is that Tored doesn't appear to be a very serious threat, and no-one is likely to encounter it. A much more serious threat for Mac users are the Trojans that are being planted on Websites posing as an attractive download.”
In January, trojans aboard pirated copies of iWork ‘09 and the Mac version of Adobe Photoshop CS4 infected over 5,000 computers. While lacking the ability to spread autonomously, they formed what is believed to be the first Mac botnet.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/7/2009 10:24:20 PM
It's not like my [desire to preserve freedom in the world] comes down to my selection in OS... oh wait YES it does.
I choose Linux!
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
Apple Gets Its Own Trojan Viruses for the First Time
April 23, 2009, 9:54 AM
Ten Million+ Infections Strong, Conficker Worm Prepares for April 1 Update
March 27, 2009, 9:25 AM
MacBooks Get Hacked Within 60 Seconds
August 4, 2006, 12:46 PM
NSA Spying Won't Impact Huawei's Growth
April 23, 2014, 8:24 PM
Amazon, HBO Team up to Bring HBO Content to Prime Members
April 23, 2014, 11:36 AM
U.S. Wants to Reduce Tension Over Internet Net Neutrality
April 22, 2014, 2:07 PM
AT&T Announces Plans to Expand Ultra-Fast Fiber Internet Network to 100 Cities
April 22, 2014, 9:36 AM
AT&T Takes First Steps in Launching Its Own Online Video Service
April 22, 2014, 9:25 AM
Netflix Opposes Comcast/Time Warner Deal, Says It's Anti-Competitive
April 22, 2014, 8:52 AM
Most Popular Articles
A Bug's Life: Female Cave Bugs Have Penises, Penetrate Males for Three Days
April 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
HTC Hires Former Samsung Marketing Chief Who Developed "Galaxy" Brand
April 18, 2014, 6:00 PM
NASA Finds "Habitable Zone" Planet Sized Similar to Earth
April 18, 2014, 3:13 PM
Mounties Arrest 19-Year-Old Who Delayed Canada's Tax Filing w/ Heartbleed
April 17, 2014, 3:24 PM
Thanks to Government Crackdown, Chinese "Porn Cop" Has Watched 600K Adult Videos
April 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information