Sunday, May 08, 2011

DIY crimekit brings advanced malware to Mac OSX

A crimeware kit discovered over the weekend promises to bring a flood of advanced malware that steals passwords and other sensitive data from computers running Mac OS X.

The kit is being advertised as the Weyland-Yutani Bot in underground crime websites, where it's being sold for $1,000. The first ever crimeware kit for the Mac comes with the ability to grab data entered into Firefox, with the Chrome and Safari browsers soon to follow, according to Danish IT firm CSIS Security Group. The makers of the new DIY malware kit claim they are close to releasing versions that will work on iPads and Linux machines as well.

Software compatibility has long been a key selling point in legitimate markets, and it's no different in criminal circles. Weyland-Yutani uses web injection templates that are identical to those offered by the ZeuS and Spyeye crimeware kits available for targeting Windows computers. The forms seamlessly inject fraudulent fields into legitimate websites that are intended to trick him into entering social security numbers or other sensitive information. When the user types the data into the field, it is transmitted back to the malware author.

“CSIS finds this crimekit to be quite disturbing news since MacOS previously to some degree has been spared from the increasing amount of malware which has haunted Windows-based systems for years,” the firm's Peter Kruse wrote in a blog post published on Monday.

The bulletin was published the same day that Mac antivirus provider Intego warned of a new piece of Mac malware called Mac Defender that fraudulently posed as legitimate security software for OS X. Besides making false claims that a target's Mac is infected, it causes browsers to open up pages from hard core porn sites, giving the impression that the machine is under someone else's control

So-called rogue antivirus software has been using similar techniques to menace Windows users for years.

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One thing I found lacking in your post is a way for users to protect themselves. You missed an opportunity to upsell some security/antivirus software or offer some advice. I know, I know, you aren't supposed to need a virus scanner on a Mac, but with the increase in popularity of Macs it's only a given that malware writers will begin targeting Macs.

So, with that being said, Mac users can protect themselves by downloading the free Sophos Antivirus from http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition.aspx . It has a small footprint and most users won't even know that it's there.

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