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New security hole found in Max OS X operating system

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April 19, 2009

A new trojan virus was found piggybacking on copies of iWork and Photoshop files found on warez sites and other similar networks. The new worm would install itself after the user had entered his administrator password during the software's installation procedure.

The new trojan is now in use in what most security experts think this is the first Macintosh botnet ever discovered.

Security researchers from Symantec have found evidence that reveals OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B are being used in creating a trojan botnet used for DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. There's at least one documented case of these trojans being used for DoS attacks, and Symantec has found out that the botnet even has some form of data encryption, a peer-to-peer engine and remote startup capabilities!

This comes as a major security discovery, since the majority of Mac OS X users have a sense of better security with the Mac operating system when compared to Windows. This might make them change their minds, however.

Mac OS-X users that suspect being infected can use any Mac antivirus tool to clean their systems.

Most OS X removal tools have been updated to include deleting instructions for these nasty trojans.

However, security researchers at Symantec say there's no need to worry about self-replication, as the newly-discovered trojan is apparently incapable of doing that.

But as a security precaution, Symantec advises to avoid pirated software to prevent similar events from happening in the near future.

"The code indicates that, wherever possible, the virus author tried to use the most flexible and extendible approach when creating it, and therefore security experts wouldn't be surprised to see a new, modified variant in the near future," said Symantec.

Security experts at Symantec also added that the person who wrote the trojan isn't the same person who activated the Mac OS X botnet.

Like any other operating system, protecting it and making sure that security patches are diligently applied once available is critical in the safe and efficient operation of any computer system.

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Source: Symantec.

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