Badware targeting Macs

Posted on November 5, 2007 - 14:26 by egeorge

At StopBadware, we often talk with regular internet users, from the novice to the sophisticated, about internet security and precautions users can take. One comment we hear again and again is the belief that some operating systems - such as Mac OS X - are immune to badware.

The truth is, badware production is driven by the potential for monetary gain, and while the market share of the Mac operating system is not high, it's starting to be recognized as a potentially valuable target.

The security world has long known that it was possible to create a virus that would affect Mac OS X - several researchers have demonstrated various "proof of concept" viruses that, because they were created by the good guys, were never released into the wild.

Last week saw the first public debut of a trojan apparently created for Mac OS X by organized criminal producers of badware. The trojan relies on social engineering pulls - the lure of pornography, and the confidence of Mac users - to convince users to download and install it, posing as a "codec" required to view video files.

For more on this issue, see StopBadware co-director Jonathan Zittrain's blog post or check out the coverage at the SunBelt Software blog.