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Print 12 comment(s) - last by jkresh.. on Feb 22 at 2:43 AM

OS X sees its second worm, but it is very unlikely to spread

F-Secure has pin-pointed another vulnerability in the Apple OS X operating system. The first such malware for OS X was reported last week and targeted chat programs. This latest vulnerability, a worm called OSX/Inqtana-A, takes aim at OS X's Bluetooth stack.

The chances of the worm spreading are slim as Apple patched the vulnerability in May of 2005. "It's disturbing to see a second worm for Mac OS X so soon after the first, but it should be remembered that this is only two compared to well over 100,000 viruses for Microsoft operating systems. The good news is that Inqtana is not going to spread successfully in the wild, but this announcement will still be a shock to those in the Mac community who thought hackers were not interested in their operating system," said Graham Cluely, a consultant for Sophos.

OS X is not invulnerable to attacks, but compared to users in the Windows world, Mac users have it pretty easy.



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Interesting? No. Misleading? Yes.
By Shadowself on 2/21/2006 5:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
This so called "worm" only propagates through bluetooth devices (what percentage of users use their bluetooth devices with multiple computers?) and as the article states is:
1) not in the wild (it's a proof of concept)
and
2) "exploits" something patched almost a year ago.

Thus for any Mac OS running the current system (10.4.5) or even 10.4.1 this is not an issue even if it were in the wild, which it is not.

This is almost as ludicrous as me writing a virus for Mac OS 9. (There were a few that ran on System 7 through Mac OS 9.x.) Would that be news? No. This should not be news either.

Also, most of the Mac faithful will claim that the lack of Mac malware has nothing to do with the Mac's market share nor anything to do with crackers not being interested in the Mac. Most will claim the lack of malware is due to a superior OS. Whether this is true or not is openly and hotly debated and neither side of the arguement is likely to win.

Will there eventually be a worm (or other malware) in the wild which can propagate without user interaction? Yes. Any Mac fanboy who says otherwise is delusional and should start taking his medication immediately.

However, as of yet there are none.




By glennpratt on 2/21/2006 6:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know much about OSX updates. Is there a free patch for affected versions?

http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?storyid=1138


By jkresh on 2/22/2006 2:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
One thing to consider is that several major viruses (virii?) that hit windows relied on un patched systems (sometimes the patch was out 6+ months in advance of the virus) and still caused damage, so while it may not matter in this case as it isn’t out in the wild, having a patch out for the exploit doesn’t necessarily mean it wont cause problems, as people often don’t patch their systems. Many windows systems today still don’t keep up with patches and either they turn off automatic updates or they have it download and never bother to say yes to the install.


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