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Antivirus company Intego today announced that it has discovered a new spyware application capable of infecting computers running Mac OS X. The spyware, known as "OSX/OpinionSpy", is downloaded and installed on users' computers via the installation process for unrelated applications hosted on several popular download sites.
This spyware, OSX/OpinionSpy, performs a number of malicious actions, from scanning files to recording user activity, as well as sending information about this activity to remote servers and opening a backdoor on infected Macs.

OSX/OpinionSpy is installed by a number of applications and screen savers that are distributed on sites such as MacUpdate, VersionTracker and Softpedia. The spyware itself is not contained in these applications, but is downloaded during the installation process.
According to the report, the installation instructions for the seemingly harmless media converter software and screensavers that serve as the vehicle for the spyware in some cases require the user to accept installation of a "market research" add-on that actually opens a backdoor on the infected computer, scans files, and transmits data to remote servers.
Users have no way of knowing exactly what data is collected and sent to remote servers; such data may include user names, passwords, credit card numbers and more. The risk of this data being collected and used without users' permission makes this spyware particularly dangerous to users' privacy.
Full details on the malware's actions are available on Intego's site.

OSX/OpinionSpy is a new Mac OS X version of Windows malware that has been floating around since 2008.

Article Link: Antivirus Firm Warns of New Mac OS X Spyware Application
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
As a rule (even on Windows) I never accept the installation of a "market research" tool, especially if it's forced on me when I'm trying to install something else. When that happens, it all goes in the Trash. There's NO reason a legitimate app should force you to do that.
 

Vertigo50

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,200
132
Do Mac users really install screen savers? That seems like a very Windows thing to do.

Personally, when I'm not using my Mac, I want it using as little power as possible. Sleep mode all the way.
 

proboscisjoe

macrumors member
May 12, 2008
40
0
It's about time?

I wonder, though... is it some checkbox in the install options that's preselected or does the user see an independent dialog window and have to accept the installation of the spyware?

...maybe I should finish reading the article <.<
 

Vertigo50

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,200
132
it's only a matter of time before osx becomes a bigger target.

You're right. I remember 4 years ago when people said there would be a major OS X virus within a year.

And 3 years ago they said the same thing....

And 2 years ago....

And 1 year ago....

I'm not gonna get too worried about it just yet.
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,947
398
Where are all the people on this forum that for years proclaimed that Mac OS was virus/spyware free and there would NEVER be viruses/spyware due to OSX being built on Linux.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,223
5,278
I thought something like this would be known as a "Trojan", not a "Virus"... if it requires you to be retarded enough to give it your name and password, maybe you deserve it?
 

msb65

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
61
0
Bbbbut I have a Mac .... spyware?

Head... exploding ...

World... shattering ...

Hey don't you hate Google?
 

iMouse

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2002
252
17
Boardman, Ohio
Get that update to Xprotect out, Apple!

You may not be able to prevent users from downloading and installing known spyware/malware, but you can certainly make it very apparent that you're installing something malicious if your system knows what it is.
 

Macjames

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2007
726
0
Yorkshire, England
Do Mac users really install screen savers? That seems like a very Windows thing to do.

Personally, when I'm not using my Mac, I want it using as little power as possible. Sleep mode all the way.

I can't even remember the last time I saw a screensaver!

For that matter I don't even change the default wallpaper!
 

stuffradio

macrumors 65816
Mar 17, 2009
1,016
6
So does this mean I can no longer boast to PC users that I don't have to worry about viruses?

You never could legitimately. There always was a chance if you install apps willy nilly without knowing where they came from that it could contain some sort of a virus.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
Where are all the people on this forum that for years proclaimed that Mac OS was virus/spyware free and there would NEVER be viruses/spyware due to OSX being built on Linux.

OS X is not built on Linux.

And nobody (intelligent, anyway) said there would NEVER be viruses or spyware. NO operating system is completely invincible.

That said, there's a HUGE difference between spyware, and other trojans, and a virus. Spyware and trojans can exist, have existed, will exist for OS X. An OS X virus, however, has not yet and currently does not exist. We can take bets on how long it will take before someone finally releases the first one.
 
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