New Trojan hits Macs where it hurts

— 1:33 PM on November 2, 2007

In a way, Apple's smug adverts about the rarity of viruses on the Mac might have sealed its platform's fate. The ads could have both helped sell more Macs and attracted the attention of malware writers all too eager to get their hands on a new, relatively unspoiled platform.

eWeek reports that the first Mac-specific malware exploit has been spotted in the wild. The malware is a Trojan Horse disguised as a video codec, and eWeek says it's floating around some pornography sites, attempting to lure users into downloading it.

Sunbelt Software and Intego, a maker of Mac security software, are warning that a mother lode of spam has been posted to many Mac forums in an attempt to trick users into visiting sites with rigged porn photos. The photos are from reputed porn videos. If Mac users click on the stills to view the videos, they're taken to a site that informs them that the QuickTime Player is unable to play the movie file. They're then instructed to click to download a new codec.

Installing the purported codec requires that users enter their administrator password, essentially giving the malware free reign over their system.

The malware is a cousin of a Windows Trojan dubbed Trojan.DNSChanger, and it reportedly hijacks DNS requests in order to lead users to phishing sites. In some cases, user login and credit card information can be hijacked, while in others, the Trojan is simply used to generate ad revenue.

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