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Apple downplays Mac OS X worm threat

updated 09:25 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2006

Apple downplays new worm

Apple today played down the threat posed by the first Mac OS X-based worm that surfaced earlier today. Although many of the major security vendors have labeled the threat as "low-risk"--most have already offered patches and protection from the malware--the fact remains that Mac users have been relatively isolated from the world of viruses, trojan, and malware, despite warnings by prominent security experts. Apple has played down the threat, saying that "Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file. Apple always advises Macintosh users to only accept files from vendors and Web sites that they know and trust," an Apple spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. "We have a guide to safely handling files received from the Internet." Earlier this year, security vendor Symantec reported a major flaw in all versions of its security and antivirus software, which affected Mac OS X users as well as others.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. CobraNT

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmm....

    I have my own opinions / conspiracy theories about viruses in general and the origin of 90% of them. Mac's seem like an untapped market for virus software companies, amazing how they have the cure, and the virus appeared only today. I guess we will all have to wait and watch CNN for the news headlines with the proof.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: hmmm

    Mac's seem like an untapped market for virus software companies, amazing how they have the cure, and the virus appeared only today.

    Umm, this is what they're paid for, plus there software is written to be easily updated. For example, in this case, they just need to throw in a signature file based off the trojan file, add a couple of "Look for programs with the name x**" commands. We're not talking rocket science (rocket science is closer to the "try to repair the infected programs" business, but that's not really that hard).

  1. gmandell

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Relevance?

    Earlier this year, security vendor Symantec reported a major flaw in all versions of its security and antivirus software, which affected Mac OS X users as well as others.

    I don't understand the relevance of this sentence to the rest of the story. What does a previously discovered flaw (that has long since been fixed) in a non-Apple security product have to do with a new worm/trojan that does potentially malicious things in Mac OS X? Are you just practicing free-association?

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    louzer=troll

    as usual.

  1. MuppetFloss

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Restoring the balance

    "... Symantec reported a major flaw in all versions of its security and antivirus software..."

    "I don't understand the relevance of this sentence to the rest of the story."

    It's included to restore the balance of terror marketing. Thus, the unbalanced equation: Virus (fear, fear, fear) => Symantec (calm, calm, calm) - which is the traditional equation of antivirus marketing - becomes fair and balanced: Virus (fear, fear, fear) = Symantec (fear, fear, fear).

    You'll know when equilibrium has been attained as the subject become paralysed by indecision, and may also display signs of impotence and apathy.

  1. boomw

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    troll or no

    I tend to agree with louzer; but I don't know what to call this software other than malware. Regardless, accusing Symantec and others of being responsible for the problem might constitute outright fraud. Symantec and otheres have saved the bacon of plenty of PC users. I think Apple's downplaying it because it doesn't self install, it started as a post to a rumor site, and the file in question allegedly showed images from someone who (if the file really did contain images of 10.5) would have been in violation of his/her NDL.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It's filler!!!

    "I don't understand the relevance of this sentence to the rest of the story."

    Actually, this is something used in many articles. It's called filler. They do it all the time in celebrity news.

  1. JoeE

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Worm Definition...

    ...courtesy of Wikipedia:

    Computer Worm

    The fact that the worm propagates itself internally still qualifies it as being a [b]worm[/b]. Though it does not do so externally, there are still no Trojans with the ability to self-replicate.

    I will have to agree with Sophos Anti-Virus on this one.

  1. JoeE

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Additionally...

    ...User intervention is also required of worm payloads that distribute themselves via e-mail, for instance. Here is an article /a> regarding the latest variant of the Bagle worm. If you read this article and/or Bagle's description, take note that it too carries an attachment which requires the user to open the file manually (aka "user intervention"). So, categorizing this OSX/Leap-A worm as a Trojan would be incorrect if one were to base it on requiring "user intervention."

  1. JoeE

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sorry about the HTML!

    Additionally, user intervention is also required of worm payloads that distribute themselves via e-mail, for instance. Here is an article regarding the latest variant of the Bagle worm. If you read this article and/or Bagle's description, take note that it too carries an attachment which requires the user to open the file manually (aka "user intervention"). So, categorizing this OSX/Leap-A worm as a Trojan would be incorrect if one were to base it on requiring "user intervention."

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