April 09, 2004

First Mac OS X Trojan or just good marketing?

``The first trojan for Mac OS X has apparently surfaced, reports Mac security group Intego. The concept of Mac trojans is so new, nobody is even disagreeing about the name: MP3Virus.Gen.`` [Broadbandreports]

However, us old folks remember back in the early 90s when there were lots of MacOS viruses that were spread by floppies. We even had floppy-based viruses in the Apple II days. However, most of those viruses were benign, and only propagated themselves and didn't try to destroy your data.

Now that the department of Homeland Security announced that they would start using Macs, expect to see a lot more virus issues for the Mac.

However, about this virus: it's pretty hard to spread. It relies on an old-style resource fork being attached to a file as well as the file extension. The resource fork overrides the file extension. Downloading a normal MP3 will not transfer the resource fork, that's why the example is sent as a BinHex file and has to be unstuffed.

UPDATE: Wired is now reporting an update to this article that addresses the issues above and effectively says that the company who "discovered" this threat is just trying to publicize their own anti-virus offerings.

Posted by rusty at April 9, 2004 12:24 PM | TrackBack
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