Friday, April 22, 2011

New Trojan Threatens Mac Users

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Traditionally, Mac PC users have been more secured from any Trojan virus or malicious software threat than the typical Microsoft Windows-based PC users. The reason has been the obvious difference between their nature of make and mechanism. Mac PCs work on Unix-based programming language while the Windows operating systems (OS) work on DOS. However, the security of Mac PCs seems to be at stake as a new variant of Trojan, which usually targets Windows-based PCs, has surfaced out of the blue to attack them thwarting Apple's old and highly popular tagline "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC".

The new Trojan is a version of darkComet, a well-established Windows-based remote access Trojan (RAT). The Trojan is called as BlackHole RAT or malware OSX/MusMinim-A (MusMinim). BlackHole RAT launches a full-screen window that bears a somewhat funny text message. See below

"I am a Trojan Horse, so i have infected your Mac Computer. I know, most people think Macs can't be Infected, but look, you ARE infected! I have full controll over your Computer and i can do everything I want, and you can do nothing to prevent it. So, I'm a very new Virus, under Development, so there will be much more functions when I'm finished"

Besides the above message, the full-screen window bears just a 'Reboot' button for a user to click and proceed. The message is surely intended to defame Apple's famous and long-running advertisement line and affect its increasing share in the OS market.

Reported by SophosLabs first,BlackHole RAT looks like a blend of English and German user interface version.

How dangerous is BlackHole RAT?

Despite being in the early development stage, BlackHole RAT can shoot random shell commands; place text documents on the desktop; give URLs access to a remote client to browse websites; open a false Administrator Password window for scam purposes; and send shutdown, restart, and sleep commands among others.

BlackHole RAT and other such Trojans are usually spread via torrent websites and pirated software downloads. So one, should be quite careful about not to run pirated software versions and explore unreliable websites.

BlackHole RAT is removable with Mac's updated antivirus software and does not seem to cause major problems if taken care of in time. However, it necessarily opens the platform for discussion that no OS mechanism is resistant to virus or malware threats. The new Trojan may diminish Macs' popularity; however, they still hold an edge over Windows-based OS at least in terms of security.

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