Print 117 comment(s) - last by JKflipflop98.. on Nov 6 at 8:52 PM

Mac users are now at risky of getting a nasty virus.  (Source: Listmania)

If it you approve, you are a sad noob, and your Mac is infected.  (Source: Intego)
Mac: Hi PC, I'm not feeling so hot today... PC: Oh, I know ALL about that. I think you have a virus!

Security experts by and large agree that security via obscurity is not a wise model for protecting customers over the long term.  That's exactly the model Apple has employed successfully for some time now.  However, its luck finally appears to be running short.

Hot on the heels of a newly discovered iOS exploit that allows access to locked iPhones, new reports [1] [2] from security research firms 
SecureFirm and Intego reveals that a new trojan is targeting Mac users using a vulnerability in OS X's Java player.

According to the 
Intego report the new malware, trojan.osx.boonana.a, is really a reworked version of the Koobface malware, which has attacked Windows in the past.  The malware acts as a worm when it spreads and as a trojan when it is infecting your computer.

Users may encounter the worm via links posted on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other websites.  When clicking the link, the applet attempts to run.  Users can stop the infection before it starts by denying the applet permission to run when OS X's Java player pops up a dialogue.

If they allow the applet to run, they may get another warning if they have a Mac antispyware program like VirusBarrier X6’s Anti-Spyware installed.  If they don't get the warning, or choose to disregard it, the applet will attempt to make a connection with a remote server and installs a rootkit, backdoor, command and control, and other elements.  These files are copied to an invisible folder -- .jnana -- in the user's home directory.

If the virus is allowed to carry out its infection process, the unsuspecting Mac user may find themselves part of a botnet.  When they log on social networks, the virus will post links to spread the infection.  It may also send spam e-mail via their logged-in accounts

Other variants of this virus target Windows and Linux, making it a rare true cross-platform virus.  All these viruses share the fact that they use the Java player as a route of attack.  According to 
Intego, other OS X-specific versions of the virus have shown up, but most are broken or try to connect to offline servers.

The malware could become potentially more dangerous in the future if it is able to eliminate the warnings from the Java player and/or change the name/location of the infection directory, making it hard for virus removal software to find it.

While it does not appear that this virus takes advantage of any unique flaws in Apple's version of Java, some security experts say that Apple's Java player may have more vulnerabilities than Window's.  That's because Apple makes its own Java player, which according to an e-mailreportedly attributed to Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, is always a version behind the official Linux/Windows builds from Sun and Oracle.

Apple is reportedly considering ditching its Java player in future versions of OS X, such as OS X 10.7 "Lion".  Similarly it's considering rejecting Flash, another multimedia web technology.  Ultimately these efforts may eliminate some routes of attack, but now that Apple is being targeted it must realize -- there is 
always a back door.


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By freeman70 on 10/28/2010 11:24:37 AM , Rating: 5
Since the average Mac user doesn't have the variety of tools to detect and remove viruses like Windows, a lot of Mac users could be unaware their machines are already infected. Given the fact that a significant number of users of any OS aren't clued in about maintenance and security, I guarantee users of OS X will face more and more security threats. This is one of the reasons why Apple wants an app store for Macs. Another stolen idea from Linux (Ubuntu Software center, synaptic and the like). If you control what can be installed through one app manager, you eliminate a lot security threats because each app is verified and maintained by the repository.

By inighthawki on 10/28/2010 11:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly though such an app store won't work well on all platforms, at least not on its own. An app store works really well for something like a phone, but a desktop/laptop computer is designed to take advantage of everything, and attempt to give the user the most control. Limiting the user to what apps they can run runs the risk of a LOT of people being mad. I suppose it might work on the MAC since most MAC users use a total of 5 products which are all from big names, but Windows and Linux have far too many small little third party apps which provide quite a lot of functionality.

By jimbojimbo on 10/28/2010 3:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever used Linux before? It's already in place! And the purpose isn't to limit you to what's available in these repositories, it's to let you know that these have been reviewed.

By inighthawki on 10/28/2010 6:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
no no, you misunderstood. I meant an app store but no alternative to download and install apps that aren't listed there. I'm not saying an app store is a bad idea.

By Tony Swash on 10/28/10, Rating: -1
By chripuck on 10/28/2010 11:59:59 AM , Rating: 5
My aunt's two year old MBP was infected a few months ago, with what I don't know.

Worldwide PC shipments exceeded 220 MILLION PC's in 2009, of which Apple captured 3.6% Of course you've heard of far more Windows infections than you have Macs. I can count on both hands the number of people I know who have Mac's and half of them are former Windows users and hate them.

I'm not writing this to say that "Windows is awesome and Macs suck!" It's a personal choice and both platforms have their benefits. But you're woefully ignorant if you believe that OSX is so incredibley secure compared to a Windows machine that's been dealing with major security threats for the better part of two decades.

By Gio6518 on 10/31/2010 4:31:11 AM , Rating: 3
My aunt's two year old MBP was infected a few months ago, with what I don't know.

a friend of mines' mother, gave me her Mac about a year ago, she just bought it at the mac store. After going through it, i told her she had a virus. Since she just bought it a month before her infection, we went back to the store. The sales person said its impossible Mac's don't get viruses. He took the computer in the back after about an hour, he comes out with a new mac, handed her a piece of paper, she had to sign it if she wanted her new Mac. She looked at it, my friend and i looked at it, what it said was she was unable to discuss the fact that she has contracted a virus, and can be sued for discussing it with anybody.

By B3an on 11/2/2010 1:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, really? I remember when Apple did that with there exploding iPods though. But can you imagine any other major company doing this and getting away with it? i cant.

By inighthawki on 10/28/2010 12:00:16 PM , Rating: 5
Nobody has any evidence that that any mac has been infected with malware.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence

An argument is put forward that it's because of low market share and thus Macs are difficult to find and not knowing any Mac users so infections are hard to spot.

Because of the security software and the sheer number of Windows users, it's quite easy for them to know they have a virus. On the Mac, it is much harder, thus whatever small share of the market apple even has, relatively few may even know they are infected at all. There are more reasons than "it is obviously secure" that could explain the lack of numbers

The fact is that as long as you avoid evidence you can claim anything is true or not true. I prefer the real world and empirical evidence based reasoning, call me old fashioned.

You have yet to prove anything yourself, so far all you've asked is for us to find hard-to-find evidence, and suggesting that not providing any proves you are right.

There is no evidence of actual Mac infections.

Again I say, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

There is evidence of millions of Windows PCs being infected.

What caused these infections though? Was it a security hole or just some idiot stupid enough to install "the codec necessary to watch this porn movie"

End of story.

Far from it...

By Luticus on 10/28/2010 12:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the process of finding a test machine now that i can infect to verify the virus and perhaps figure out how to remove/combat the thing.

By gamerk2 on 10/28/2010 12:25:36 PM , Rating: 5

There is no evidence of actual Mac infections.

False; there have been known Mac viruses, infections, and vunerabilites for decades, going back to the early 80's.


There is evidence of millions of Windows PCs being infected.

Having a larger amount of computers to infect will do that. A more accurate detail would be what percentage of PC's are infected compared to what percentage of Macs are infected. Much more even after that is taken into account.


End of story.

Not really; you're just reading the data in such a way to prove your own viewpoint.

By HrilL on 10/28/2010 2:04:10 PM , Rating: 5
Got to love these Mac morons.

First things first. Viruses are designed to hide themselves. Thus a normal user with no Anti-virus or scanning software will never know if they have a virus unless its one that actively gives them pop ups.

That being said you could probably have a virus and not even know. Since by the sound of it you seem to have all your trust in Jobs and company.

I know a few people with botnets that have 100s if not 1000s of Macs in their control now days. Using Safari exploits that have still yet to be fixed by apple.

Good viruses that are on a small number of machines don't get detected by the Anti-virus companies for a long time.

The fact that you are so naive and ignorant saddens even me.

By fsardis on 10/28/2010 6:21:21 PM , Rating: 2

check this out. you are still willing to put your money on no infections on macs?
are you willing to bet that nobody has installed any of those apps from those reputable sites?

did i just hear your sand castle collapsing?

By Iaiken on 10/29/10, Rating: 0
By BailoutBenny on 10/29/2010 3:36:19 PM , Rating: 1

Why aren't you plagiarizing?

By Reclaimer77 on 10/29/2010 11:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
Too easy.

There I found one. Trojan trying to install itself onto a Mac and was stopped by Virus Barrier. But since most Mac users are arrogant assholes such as yourself who don't use protection, there are potentially who-knows how many infected Mac's out there.

Think lots of Mac users used Limewire? Yup, guess what...

This one isn't an attempt like the last one, it's infected. PERIOD. 100%

So there, I found some "in the wild" that shatters your assinine assertion that "no Mac's" have ever been infected by viruses.

Do you know how idiotic you sound? Here's a list of 115 KNOWN OSx viruses, trojans, keyloggers and spyware from ONE anti virus company alone. I guess these are all just figments of our imaginations and none of these have EVER been found "in the wild"??

Seriously I think I speak for everyone here when I say, Tony, fuck off.

By BushStar on 10/30/2010 6:56:12 AM , Rating: 3
Surely Tony is a troll?

Anyway I have seen an infected Mac with my very own eyes, I had to disinfect it. The hole exploited was in Firefox which allowed a program to run which connected to a botnet. That was years ago. This article does not tell us anything new. When Apple starts to get a decent share of infections I will be interested.

By Cheesew1z69 on 10/31/2010 11:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
Surely Tony is a troll?
A troll amongst other things.

By rudy on 10/28/2010 12:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
This is key and the same with windows. I know lots of people with Mac or Windows machines and I would say even linux that claim they do not have any viruses but run no antivirus. It is like saying I have no viruses in my body because I feel healthy.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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