Security

Watch out for malware with those pretty Mac screensavers

Watch out for dangerous malware bundled with some free Mac screensavers. Read more to get the details on the threat and what it does.

Dancho Danchev reports in the Zero Day blog on ZDNet that dangerous malware is included with some free Mac screensavers available at 7art-screensavers.com. Intego researchers have identified the malware as the OSX/OpinionSpy spyware.

In a nutshell, "it injects code, without user intervention, into Safari, Firefox and iChat, and copies personal data from these applications."  It then regularly sends the information, such as e-mail addresses, iChat message headers, and URLs to a number of servers.

You can get the full details both in the ZDNet blog above or from the Mac Security blog.

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

9 comments
The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

they cant get a virus or malware - that's why many of their users don't run AV type software. This has been said on many forums across this site Oh....hang on

mr_m_sween
mr_m_sween

Mac:"Hi I'm a mac." PC: "And I'm a PC." Mac:"You've heard alot from me bashing that guy over there over the last year or four, but now I realize that we have something very much in common." PC: "Oh? And what is that Mac?" Mac:"We both have some really dumb end users that go and install screensaver programs off the internet." PC: "Oh yes...yes we do." /facepalm

itachisxeyes
itachisxeyes

that is the biggest security threat, so many of them are surprised when i say as an IT guy that i hate macintoshes and would never buy one. always saying "but they don't get viruses" (using virus as a blanket term) and its an attitude like that which will be your downfall. just like here, the biggest vulnerability is manning the keyboard and mouse. and if your under the false assumption that your system can't be breached then your guard is down big time. thats my two cents anyways.

parnote
parnote

Regardless of how secure you make a computer system, there is no way to protect against a stupid user who circumvents the security measures -- regardless of the operating system, closed or open source.

rowdydave
rowdydave

Both are good platforms, and each has its pros and cons. What we should concentrate on, rather than back biting and playing the "mine is better than yours" game, is finding and taking out the idiots who create malware and viruses so they can claim some sort of warped, delusional pride in their destructive accomplishment. Punish the criminal, not the victim. And, if you're going to talk about ignorance, don't use "there" for "their."

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... when you can get the owner to open the door for you?

itachisxeyes
itachisxeyes

well i'll admit, i failed all my spelling tests in elementary school! (T_T) but i was not trying to imply that the Macintosh platform was bad. personally i don't like it, but if thats your thing, thats cool. i was going more for what techrepublic posted after us. its the stereotypical snobbish attitude most Macintosh users have. some legitimately think because they use Macintosh that they are 100% safe (not even joking) i totally agree with you on the "punish the criminal not the victim" but there is only so many times you can tell someone not to go on "that side of town" because you could get mugged. there is a lot of misconception floating around about just how vulnerable Macintosh is (to have people believe its 100% secure after all is crazy!). and we can't physically police the internet, its just not possible, we can code firewalls and other software to watch for malicious code but at the end of the day the user is the weakest link in the chain, i think the strongest tool in our arsenal is educating the common user. and not just Macintosh users, Windows users and Linux users, after all there seems to be a large wave of non-technical users coming to distros like Linux Mint and Ubuntu (at least from what i see that is) anyways, i didn't want you thinking i was hating on you or your machine of choice. (^_^)

techrepublic
techrepublic

Microsoft Windows has about 90% of the PC OS market so obviously hackers and malcontents are going to focus the biggest proportion of their activities on that. However the complacency and snobbishness of many Mac (and *nix) users has led to them being targetted more often than before. No system is safe if someone is really determined to "break" it but users not exercising care and being diligent only make it easier by giving the hacker a way in.

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