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MacBytes
May 1, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Category: Mac OS X
Link: Viruses catch up to the Mac (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060501092224)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Keynoteuser
May 1, 2006, 08:42 AM
This is the virus/trojan that we saw WEEKS AGO. Yesterday this story started to appear on web sites, and now it's on Fox, CNN, etc. This is OLD NEWS. Someone out there really wants to make Apple look bad and it really ticks me off.

KREX725
May 1, 2006, 08:49 AM
You can't expect a big media gun like CNN to actually do some simple research before writing an article can you?

Sadly, they probably did a story on it two months ago when it was actually news to some people.

My first thought was wondering if somehow a Windows virus had used Boot Camp to invade OSX. Now I'm dumb like CNN! :p

wedge antilies
May 1, 2006, 08:53 AM
Maybe the article should be called "Under-researched hype catches up to the media.":rolleyes:

GilGrissom
May 1, 2006, 08:55 AM
Ye. As soon as the news first appeared way back my Security Technology lecturer came up to me and said that viruses are coming thick and fast to the Mac now (knowing I use Macs!) and that it's more unsecure now than Windows, because now people are actually bothering about OS X. He said that his source at Security Now or something like that, had said that there are now at least 5 confirmed viruses for Mac, with more unconfirmed cases. I didn't want to seem really biassed but it was the first I heard of 5 or more confirmed viruses so he wouldn't believe me when I argued with him!

The viruses are coming, I just hope Apple does us proud and fixes these things ASAP with minimal disruption and keeps their good security record.

noverflow
May 1, 2006, 09:05 AM
With new Macs running the same processor that powers Windows-based machines, far more people will know how to exploit weaknesses in Apple machines than in the past, when they ran on the PowerPC chips made by IBM Corp. and Motorola Corp. spinoff Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Wow... you lean something new every day.

bpd115
May 1, 2006, 09:48 AM
CNN didn't write this story, it's an AP story and more FUD.

*Sigh* :rolleyes:

fozy
May 1, 2006, 09:49 AM
Could this hurt Apple's gains in market share?
It's easy to take being virus free for granted but when I tell PC users about this little known fact their eyes jump out of their heads, this is worth the extra cost to my family members who have PCs so full of spyware I don't know where to start. I'm surprised Apple has never exploited this strength but that may have lead to a catch-22 and certainly isn't part of their image just a very effective side effect.
Do viruses need to be written for the machine or the OS?


With new Macs running the same processor that powers Windows-based machines, far more people will know how to exploit weaknesses in Apple machines than in the past, when they ran on the PowerPC chips made by IBM Corp. and Motorola Corp. spinoff Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Wow... you lean something new every day.

Airforce
May 1, 2006, 09:49 AM
Do viruses need to be written for the machine or the OS?

OS

fixyourthinking
May 1, 2006, 09:53 AM
CNN = Computer News Ncorrect (ok bad, but wit is short this morning)

This article is so poorly written and what 2 months ago news?

The first sentence doesn't even make sense?

Macs are not under attack ... nor was the "virus' that was over discussed and I think even spread by these forums even a virus, a trojan, or a proof of concept to use a couple buzz words.

Why do editors at CNN allow this crap through?

fixyourthinking
May 1, 2006, 09:55 AM
With new Macs running the same processor that powers Windows-based machines, far more people will know how to exploit weaknesses in Apple machines than in the past, when they ran on the PowerPC chips made by IBM Corp. and Motorola Corp. spinoff Freescale Semiconductor Inc..

Few if any viruses are exploited at the processor level or actually exploit hardware ... so no.

angelwatt
May 1, 2006, 10:08 AM
Sadly, they probably did a story on it two months ago when it was actually news to some people.

Yup, I remember subbmitting a cnn article at least a month ago about this same thing. Guess the news is getting slow that they're re-running old stories. Too bad they still don't understand what they are writing about. Oh no, Mac has 1 virus compared to windows tens of thousands, whatever shall we do.

A virus could probably do my computer good. My virus scanner keeps complaining about how it has nothing to do. I almost feel sorry for the program. ... almost.

Kingsly
May 1, 2006, 10:10 AM
You can't expect a big media gun like CNN to actually do some simple research before writing an article can you?

Amen.

greatdevourer
May 1, 2006, 10:20 AM
Do viruses need to be written for the machine or the OS? Both. Sorta :p It depends how it's written. You can't expect shellcode for one arch to work on another, for example

BurtonCCC
May 1, 2006, 10:22 AM
What CNN isn't printing is the fact that in November of 2004, there were 53,000 Windows viruses and a new one every 18 seconds. The Mac has what, MAYBE seven? And they aren't even all viruses, they're just "vulnerabilities."

Just another company that Bill Gates probably owns trying to take down the Apple.

Daniel.

gerardrj
May 1, 2006, 11:01 AM
Both. Sorta :p It depends how it's written. You can't expect shellcode for one arch to work on another, for example

Or network access, or filesystem calls, or anything else.

You write viruses for the OS.

nagromme
May 1, 2006, 11:39 AM
I am led to believe six things about this "virus"--please correct me if I am confused on any of these points:

1. This happened weeks ago. It's not "the second time" as many readers will assume.

2. It cannot spread itself over the Internet in any way, only over LAN. (Although anyone can post a LAN virus on a forum and get people to download it--but that's not by the virus's own action.)

3. It cannot spread itself at all in a Mac's default configuration, only if you make the obscure (for most users) change of enabling Bonjour in iChat.

4. A patch from Apple weeks ago blocked it anyway.

5. Symantec estimates that zero to 50 users were affected by the "outbreak."

6. It is not currently spreading in the wild.

Please post corrections--I don't want to misunderstand the "threat!"


PS, does anyone have a link to a Windows virus story that contains the words "He and at least one other person"? ;) :D

PPS here's a link to the MacWorld analysis containing some important details that most articles conveniently "forget" to mention (no, it's not a conspiracy, it's lazy bad journalism--sell ads first, asl questions never):
http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/02/17/leapafollow/index.php

shamino
May 1, 2006, 04:44 PM
This is getting tedious and annoying.

A trojan horse program does not exploit any security holes to run. It is an ordinary application, given a misleading name/icon, in order to trick an unwary user into running it.

If I stick a GIF icon on my copy of Photoshop and rename it "hotbabes.gif", it doesn't magically become a virus. If I write a hard-drive eraser program and stick an MP3 icon on it, and call it "omfg.mp3", the only security hole I'm exploiting is the one in the user.

The only solution to this "problem" would be to completely eliminate the concept of custom icons. Force every application to use a common system-defined icon. Then it won't be possible for an application to pretend to be a document. And even if you do this, you can be certain that some people will still open it. (Look at how many Windows people still open .exe files looking for dirty pictures, even though everybody knows that .exe's are programs.)

thegreatluke
May 1, 2006, 05:10 PM
I hate to call this even a "virus."

It's more like a "poorly written Trojan that affected this guy and one other guy that did basically nothing, just inserting random code into the iLife apps."

The thing about it is the whole fiasco took place inside a small thread here on MacRumors in a couple hours. According to estimates 30 people downloaded it and only two were affected. Of these thirty people, nobody had major problems with the thing.

freiheit
May 1, 2006, 08:27 PM
Could this hurt Apple's gains in market share?

Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes when a system is completely invulnerable (or un-exploited, anyway) it runs quietly in the corner and no one pays it any mind (read as no mindshare, no marketshare). When there are news stories about viruses (virii?) and vulnerabilities, it gains mindshare -- people start to pay attention to it and even go out of their way to trumpet about it, which makes others aware of its existence.

Unless you can make people aware of a product, they will never buy it *cough* IBM OS/2 *cough*cough*. :)

sunfast
May 3, 2006, 08:45 AM
viruses (virii?)

viruses!

And as they said in the article - I'm much happier on a mac. :)