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The new Apple Trojan "BlackHoleRat" sneaks itself in through OS X users' open back doors. It is currently in "beta" and its capabilities are being expanded.  (Source: Sophos Labs)

One of its capabilities is to pop up fake administrator password request windows as a phishing attempt  (Source: Sophos Labs)

The trojan even delivers humorous messages to users in current form.  (Source: Sophos Labs)

  (Source: Chris Moncus)
Malicious program still appears to be in "beta" form, unlike its Windows counterpart

Security researchers at Sophos Labs have discovered a naughty new trojan that's in the process of beta testing attack capabilities against the growing population of Mac users.

The trojan exploits open back doors in OS X to gain a good deal of access to the system.  It can be transmitted through a variety of vectors, including torrent files or seemingly legitimate download programs.  It could also be, in the future, delivered via the exploitation of browser flaws to perform "drive by downloads".

Once inside, the Trojan gets down to business, allowing the attacker to have their way with their Apple victim.  The attacker can plant text files on the desktop, force URLs to open, run shell commands, and pop up fake password windows in a phishing attempt.

They can also force the users machine shutdown or reboot. When a reboot is forced an amusing message pops up, informing:

I am a Trojan Horse, so i have infected your Mac Computer. I know, most people think Macs can't be infected, but look, you ARE Infected! I have full controll over your Computer and i can do everything I want, and you can do nothing to prevent it.

So, Im a very new Virus, under Development, so there will be much more functions when im finished.

The virus is a port of darkComent, a remote access trojan for Windows.  The new OS X versions has been dubbed "OSX/MusMinim-A", or "MusMinim" for short, by Sophos.  Its creators, however, call it BlackHoleRat.

Sophos believes its creators will likely expand its functionality now that the concept has been proven.  It will likely be loaded with far nastier tricks in the future.

Despite its obscurity, Apple's poor security track record virtually ensures that Apple OS X users back doors will be open in years to come.  And increasingly they may find malicious individuals looking to poke and prod their way inside.

Still Apple has been quite quiet in its direction to users to get an anti-virus program.  To this day it still tries to portray Windows as "virus-laden" and OS X as virus-free.  As a result of this ostrich-in-the-sand attitude, some users may fall victim of unwanted backdoor intrusion.

Apple has yet to comment on its users' latest infection or hint at how widespread it might be.

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By messele on 2/28/2011 3:19:54 PM , Rating: -1
So a trojan gains access by fooling the user into running a legitimate-looking program. From there it generates a bogus administrator dialogue box which 'fools' you into giving up privileges "Finder requires you Administrator Password" <- attention to detail there lolz.

So how is any of that "back door"? It's all centred around tricking the user and no anti-virus will ever protect systems against that.

Come back when something is out there and doing damage, I'm growing tired of "proof of concept" bullshit.

RE: Wut?
By InfinityzeN on 2/28/2011 3:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
You fail to realise that most Apple users to not have much attention to detail here, since a Mac never gets a virus.

RE: Wut?
By messele on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wut?
By damianrobertjones on 2/28/2011 4:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
I resent and will never agree with this comment and even mentioning it (even though you put 'not always) makes my blood boil.

"B) Mac owners are often (not always) at the wealthier end of the spectrum and are therefore more lucrative targets."

In the UK you have people on the dole, thousands of them with macs and they are poor (in a fashion). This MYTH needs to go away, quickly.

RE: Wut?
By testerguy on 3/3/2011 4:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
Oh wake up, it's common knowledge that macs are certainly not at the budget end of the spectrum and therefore clearly not the mainstream option for cheap computers.

Take the Macbook Air, for example. Costs, what 1,000 GBP? Compare that an Acer 15 inch brick which costs 300 GBP. Only people who can afford to spend that kind of money will buy the Macbook Air, and that will (more often than not) be people with more money in general. Same applies to the iPhone, which is an expensive option, phone wise.

What you're saying is the equivalent of saying you resent the claim that Rolls Royces are purchased mostly by wealthy people.

RE: Wut?
By Alexstarfire on 2/28/2011 8:32:13 PM , Rating: 1
B) You don't need viruses/malware/trojans/etc to get people's money. Social engineering works on any platform and is a lot easier to do these days. Sure, trojans are probably far more effective on an individual basis for getting the pertinent information, but phishing can hit anyone and everyone. I don't think it'd be effective on me because not only am I aware that it's possible, but all the stuff I use for my passwords and security questions isn't stuff that you're just going to find on some social networking site. I make sure that at least 1 question is something that only I would know, and that can be hard since so many sites give you a set list to choose from.

RE: Wut?
By Shadowself on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wut?
By JasonMick (blog) on 2/28/2011 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 5
Ah, denialism at its finest.

He even states, "The virus is a port of darkComent, a remote access trojan for Windows."...Seems Jason will never get this straight. And he's done a nice job of glossing over the fac that this trojan (darkComent) has been out on the Window side for quite some time!

Curious, you state that I explained this and then you proceed to say I glossed over it. It appears a reading comprehension deficit is at play.

As for the actual accuracy of the text, I feel it is quite accurate, despite your personally motivated attempts to redirect the attention back to Windows.

So this trojan is now a "virus", eh?

There's different definitions of what a computer "virus" is, but in a broad sense it's a malicious program that installs itself and performs unwanted functions on your machine.

So in a broad sense yes this is a virus, and yes it is on Macs. Glad I could clear that up for you.

It's just Jason doing his thing claiming a virus exists for OS X.

THERE ARE viruses that affect OS X. Sorry to burst your magical distortion field bubble.

This trojan clearly has the potential to do a lot of damage, once completed... and that shouldn't be too hard to do, given that the Windows one is already finished.

RE: Wut?
By messele on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wut?
By JasonMick (blog) on 2/28/2011 3:47:36 PM , Rating: 5
You're arguing semantics here. This is clear OS X malware, and it clearly could become what your definition of a virus is.

Can you link us a single article relating to a virus in the wild on Mac OS Jason? Much better if you can find one that has done real damage...

To save you the trouble of looking up articles on Mac OS viruses/worms/trojans, etc.:

RE: Wut?
By messele on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wut?
By JasonMick (blog) on 2/28/2011 4:07:13 PM , Rating: 5
I'll ignore your insults and try to nicely help you out.

If you can find a single one (no more DailyShit links please) I'll retract everything I have said (publicly) and tattoo your RSS feed URL on my chubby, I am THAT confident you can't do it.

...Please don't do the tattoo, though...

But I did want to just say I can tell the subject of an Apple computer getting infected by viruses and trojans like a Windows one is a very sensitive one for you. That must have been very tough reading this. I'm so sorry...

RE: Wut?
By messele on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Wut?
By Iaiken on 2/28/2011 5:02:51 PM , Rating: 5
We were playing with this on a mac at work today and you seem to not understand it's capabilities.

It can do all of the following WITHOUT need of the administrative password:

- Remote execution of shell commands
- Create text or other script files remotely
- Send data to a remote server

- Open up a web page from safari
- Send a message to the victims screen
- Perform shutdown, restart and sleep operations

The bold items above are cause for concern since I could essentially send script files to your PC that create opportunities for any manner of exploit. The 'Finder' dialog example is one such example of just what you can do.

Once this is better fleshed out it will become more sophisticated as the payloads increase in size and complexity. The best attacks will be ones that mimic authentic dialog boxes at appropriate times. This is not hard to do since you can see which programs are running even without administrative rights.

All you need to do is something like this:

PIDS=`ps ax | grep 'updatedb\|find' | grep -v grep | sort | awk
'{print $1}' | perl -ne 'chomp;print "$_ "'`
if [ "$PIDS" ]
then kill $PIDS

This will try to kill the updatedb script which will prompt for an administrative password. You then immediately follow it up with a prompt saying "oopsie, the service has failed" and that you need to type in your administrative password to restart it.

And this is just the first one I could think up off the top of my head.

RE: Wut?
By testerguy on 3/3/2011 4:39:50 AM , Rating: 2
Are you saying you were able to install this an run dangerous shell commands remotely on the machine without ever entering your Administrator password?

RE: Wut?
By StraightCashHomey on 2/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Wut?
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/1/2011 6:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
You're arguing semantics here. This is clear OS X malware, and it clearly could become what your definition of a virus is.

It is malware, but there are many kinds of malware. The term "virus" is erroneously used for types of malware that aren't necessarily viruses. What distinguishes a virus from a trojan is that a virus is self-replicating and self-propagating.

A virus is infectious malware. A trojan on the other hand is based around concealment, which in most cases is a malicious program that invites a user to run it. Any operating system is susceptible to a trojan. There will always be the opportunity for harmful software to fool a user into executing it. Modern operating system requiring users to elevate to admin/root is a huge step in the right direction, but nothing can stop someone from ignoring a UAC prompt or typing in their admin password even though they shouldn't.

You are arguing that this trojan is a virus, when I don't see evidence that this piece of malware fits the strict definition of what a virus is. If you want to use "virus" interchangeably with any kind of malware, be they trojans, rootkits, whatever, fine, but it is technically incorrect.

RE: Wut?
By omnicronx on 2/28/2011 6:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
A computer virus now has multiple accepted terms, traditionally you would be correct, unfortunately the term has seen widespread usage in other areas such as malware, trojans, spyware etc.

Its now an accepted generic term, get over it..

As for viruses in the wild, there have been multiple and clearly not even a fraction of that found on windows, but they do exist.

Furthermore if they did not exist, then why did Apple sneak anti malware blacklist tools into SL?

RE: Wut?
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/1/2011 7:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
Apple used to bundle anti-malware into .Mac subscriptions. Those went away when it became MobileMe, but they still sell anti-malware software packages at their own Apple Stores.

I don't think anyone sane denies that malware is out there. Apple certainly doesn't deny it based on the fact that they sell the software themselves. Braindead fanboys will deny it, sure, but there is no such thing as a completely secure piece of software.

Whether or not it is a credible threat is a different story though. Do you know what the biggest victim of malware was outside of Windows XP? MacOS 8 and 9.

There were far fewer MacOS users than OS X users now, yet it had way more issues with viruses. Yes, there is malware out there for OS X, but the UNIX base of OS X has done a lot to keep it safe, even if it has been poorly curated compared to Windows (which has to be vigilant, being such a giant target). I'm not freaked out over the prospect of viruses in Windows 7, it is really secure and there is elevating of user rights, etc, but I still keep NOD32 running just in case.

These stories regarding security on OS X have been running for over a decade, and I still wait for some crazy botnet that turns the millions of Macs out there into zombies that self-propagate their sickness to every other Mac out there, but it has yet to happen. Practically speaking, it still isn't an issue, and I don't know if it ever will be.

RE: Wut?
By testerguy on 3/3/2011 4:24:39 AM , Rating: 2
'Whether or not it is a credible threat is a different story though. Do you know what the biggest victim of malware was outside of Windows XP? MacOS 8 and 9.'

Sorry, where's your source for that claim?

RE: Wut?
By Akrovah on 2/28/2011 7:00:44 PM , Rating: 1
It's all centred around tricking the user and no anti-virus will ever protect systems against that.

Actually a well made anti-Virus program will detect and remove this kind of thing BEFORE it has a chance to try and trick the user. The fact that it is not getting removed from the system at all shows a deficiency in the system security.

I've had things like this try and get into my system, and MSE blocks it and warns me about it before it even gets a chance to give me a fake pop-up asking for an admin password.

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