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Sophos: Apple Mac trojan horse aims to steal money

March 2008 by Sophos

Sophos is advising the Apple Macintosh community not to panic following the discovery of another Trojan horse for the Mac OS X platform. The Trojan, named Troj/MacSwp-B (also known as Imunizator), tries to scare Mac users into purchasing unnecessary software by claiming that privacy issues have been discovered on the computer.

"Windows users are no stranger to scareware like this, but it is rarer on the Apple Macintosh. Nevertheless, the discovery of this Trojan horse does follow fast on the heels of other malware that has been identified on the Mac OS X platform in recent months," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Cybercrime against Mac users may be small in comparison to Windows attacks, but it is growing. Apple Macintosh users need to learn from the mistakes made by their Windows cousins in the past and ensure that they have defences in place, are up-to-date with patches and exercise caution about what they run on their computer."

Sophos experts note that the new Trojan horse is closely related to another piece of Mac scareware, MacSweeper, which was being deployed in an attack via online adverts on ITV.com and the website of the Radio Times last month.

"It’s not unusual to see hackers repackage their malware in a variety of disguises to try and sneak it past anti-malware software," explained Cluley.

Earlier this year Sophos published its annual Security Threat Report, which described how financially motivated hackers had targeted Apple Mac computers with malware for the first time in 2007.




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