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A Mac service technician used spyware to take shots of unsuspecting young women, some of whom were undressed.   (Source: yavamospillaos.wordpress.com)

The malware would pop up OS X messages that looked like system warnings, like this one. The warnings were designed to lure young women to take their computer with them while showering.  (Source: Notebooks.com)

Trevor Harwell's plot was foiled after police searched his computers after a victim received a tip from a local service tech.  (Source: Fullerton Police Department)
Obviously he didn't get the memo that Mac's are unaffected by malicious software

Trevor Harwell, a 20-year-old Los Angeles, California area certified Mac repair specialist is in a load of trouble after police discovered his unusual hobby -- installing spyware on female clients' Macs and using it to take naughty pictures of them remotely.

The young man's scheme was discovered when one of the victims took her Mac to a local Apple, Inc. (AAPL) Genius Bar, complaining that her Mac was popping up odd OS X system warnings.  

The warnings were actually fake, but designed to look like standard system warnings.  One of the warnings informed her, "You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

The message reportedly was designed to try to trick the female victims into taking the computer with them into the shower.

The Apple technician then discovered a piece of Mac malware called Camcapture installed on the machine.  They informed the young woman, "You need to call police."

After contacting the police, Mr. Harwell's Fullerton, California residence was raided and police seized electronics.  Thousands of images were found on the seized computers, all whom thus far have been identified as residents of Los Angeles and Orange County.  Mr. Harwell was arrested Wednesday.

Mr. Harwell's scheme was sophisticated.  Not only did the installed software allow for remote control commands of the webcam, according to Fullerton police spokesman Andrew Goodrich, "It would let his server know that the victim's machine was on. The server would then notify his smartphone... and then the images were recorded on his home computer."

The photos contained women both dressed and unclothed.  The popups apparently tricked several women into taking their laptops with them into the bathroom while showering (to give the laptop its requested "steam" treatment.

Mr. Harwell's business was named Rezitech and was operated out of his home.  Police believe there may be more victims out there, still.  Those who had contact with Mr. Harwell are advised to look in the "/Library/WebServer/Documents" folder where the spyware was typically installed.

Apple fans tend to have the false perception that Macs aren't affected by malware or that only some minuscule percentage are affected by it.  In reality, the platform is home to a diverse and growing body of malware, much like its operating system counterpart from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Windows.  A recent malware attack infected 1 in 20 Mac computers, according to service technician reports.  That'd be akin to a virus on Windows that infected 65 million Windows PCs -- almost unheard of [source].

Mr. Harwell had a fundamentalist upbringing, reportedly, attending Biola University, a small, private evangelical Christian college in southern California.  Many of the victims were Biola students, and police believe he may have compromised university systems as well.



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RE: Password
By honkj on 6/10/2011 10:35:33 AM , Rating: -1
it is not necessarily true only because one can consider Flash to be malware, since it is the cause of many more problems than any other forms of malware, by a factor of 100,000.

which puts in context the original blog's assertion that Macs are host to a "growing list" of malware, this is scareware by the author only, it is incorrect to say the least, the "growing list" has all been fully nullified, completely ineffective including the "current" versions of Macdefender off shoots.

for instance there are NO viruses for OSX, where there are 1000's and 1000's of viruses for the windows platform, and there are two pieces of malware for the mac, with about 3 adaptions each.. this in no way is a "growing list" compared to Windows which have millions of malware adaptions... so the only reason an author would use "growing list" in this context, is to scareware...


RE: Password
By frobizzle on 6/10/2011 11:01:25 AM , Rating: 5
Tinfoil hat a little too snug today, pal?


RE: Password
By Alexstarfire on 6/10/2011 2:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's like every time an article about malware on OS X comes up peopel make up more and more ridiculous numbers for the amount of malware and/or viruses on the PC. Millions of different malware programs? I really really doubt that unless you count every version of every piece of malware which simply makes no sense.


RE: Password
By Alexstarfire on 6/10/2011 2:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
FRACK.

people*


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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