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Ivan's picture

Mac OS X viruses and trojans

I'm sick of anti-virus companies reporting on supposed OS X viruses and trojans.

The latest anti-virus company expressing its greed was Intego, who reported about an OS X trojan that is supposedly out in the wild redirecting unsuspecting browsers to fake sites stealing their credit card info. Woo-hoo!

This trojan is an 8 year old kid dressed in a witch costume. So fitting to Halloween!

Let's see how you can get infected:

  1. You have to visit an eerie link to a no-name porn site.
  2. You have to believe that the video content on this site is so unique it requires a special codec.
  3. You have to be convinced that this codec is so damn special it can not be downloaded from Apple or any other trusted location, but only from this shady site.
  4. You have to conclude that the only way to get laid tonight is to download the dmg of the codec and install it on your machine.
  5. You are confident enough to give your admin password to have the installer run.
  6. Despite the fact that your DNS settings have now been changed and your browser takes you to random sites, you keep surfing and shopping giving your passwords and credit card details anywhere.

Right. Very likely and truly dangerous scenario. If somebody is stupid enough to do all this, he won't even realize he's in trouble, would he?

It's the equivalent of going to a dark bar in the worst part of your town. Paying a random person for a certain white powder. Being surprised you got bubbles coming out of your nostrils. Realizing you're not even hallucinating.

Now, I'm not saying that AV companies are useless or that OS X is infallible. But I do think it's dangerous to report on false stories, because it destroys the AV company's reputation. And, it is destructive to the Mac community, because people become immune to the announcements and won't take them seriously when the real shit hits the fan.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

These companies continue to "report" (and I use that term lightly) on theoretic issues and claim them to be serious risks. To me, a serious risk is opening an email from a trusted source and having it delete my hard drive simply by opening the email. Beyond something like that, I take any such "security risks" with a huge heaping of salt.

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phalkunz's picture
49 pencils

Well, again i agree with you on this. Your bullet points are funny and I like it. In that case, it's totally user responsibility I guess.

ReidDesigns's picture
1283 pencils

That was cute! :)

"Try not, Do! or do not, there is no try."

shoaf's picture
78 pencils

I haven't seen it in-person, but would a non-paranoid user have any way to believe that the codec is from Apple/QT, but the site is conveniently providing it (or an automatic link to the developer's download? "Perhaps this is a new technology that I haven't run into yet, so I better update my Mac now so I can see more naughty stuff in the future? [not just for this one thing]"

Add to that, "I bought this Mac cause they don't get viruses*, so nothing bad will happen if I install this."

Of course most anyone here at creativebits knows better than to think like I've mentioned, but I can see a lot of the general public thinking like this.

*Yes, I know this is not a virus, but I emphasize the fact that I'm trying to think like John. Q. Public here.

natobasso's picture
3951 pencils

Mac users can clean the infection using this app:

Powerpoint is not a design application

ornj's picture
1 pencil

Everyone likes to balk and snub the thought of a virus on a mac but it's a serious issue. Mac bills itself as an all and one solution and for that reason, many people who are new or inexperienced in personal computers are attracted to them. These people might not know enough to not install something just because they were prompted. All the security or restrictions in the world won't matter when the issue is behind the keyboard.

Also, while its not related to this specific instance. It's important for mac users who share a network with windows based machines to be aware if they have virus infected files that will thrive on their coworker's machine. I seem to remember there being an issue with iPods having a windows virus on them.

long time lurker.

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