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Macs enter crosshairs of Russian hacking group

updated 05:25 pm EDT, Mon September 28, 2009

Part of criminal profit-making scheme

Macs are being deliberately targeted by a Russian hacking group, says Sophos security researcher Dmitry Samosseiko. The group is a subset of a larger criminal network known as the Partnerka, which normally turns a profit through spam promoting fake online drug vendors, and malware in the form of "scareware" anti-virus protection. The Partnerka have generally concentrated malware efforts on Windows users, who together represent the largest possible target.

Mac efforts have similarly revolved around scareware, most recently in the form of fake video players. A defunct Partnerka website, Mac-codec.com, is accused of having paid 43 cents for each computer infected by a hacker. The exploitation of Macs by criminal enterprises may reflect a growing security problem, argues another member of Sophos, Graham Cluley. The consultant warns that many Mac users may have no malware protection in place; others say that even Mac OS X Snow Leopard provides minimal protection.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    We've made it!

    We've finally made it!

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Brilliant Marketing!

    "The exploitation of Macs by criminal enterprises may reflect a growing security problem, argues another member of Sophos, Graham Cluley"

    And exactly how would my Mac be compromised other than by my own stupidity in downloading and installing the malware myself? I understand there are gullible and stupid Mac owners who will click on anything shiny that catches their eye. For them I guess having some sort of security program that will alert them to their stupidity is a good thing, but it's no guarantee they will pay attention. As I pointed out, shiny objects easily distract them.

    Meanwhile the security software developers are using the best marketing tool they have in their arsenal, namely good old F.U.D. "Buy our software or you will be sorry!"


  1. sibeale1

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Still waiting

    I've been a Mac user since 1984 and a Lisa user for two years before that. I've never gotten a virus, trojan, or other malady. Maybe life will now get exciting.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -15

    Re: Brilliant

    And exactly how would my Mac be compromised other than by my own stupidity in downloading and installing the malware myself?

    Wow, that's the same way most people using Windows get infected. Yet it isn't the user, it's the insecure OS that's the problem over there...

    And I guess you never heard of trojans, which you could be installing daily and not even knowing it (hence the term trojan, from the horse variety). Oh, right, you'd never be caught installing a program with a trojan installed. Because you scan the program code of every piece of software you install and make sure it has no payloads in it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -17

    Re: Still waiting

    Are you sure you were never infected? Do you continually run virus scan software? Or do you assume you're not infected because you don't see any outer signs that you've been infected? Maybe you check your Activity Monitor looking for nefarious sounding programs?

  1. 010111

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    examples?

    "Maybe you check your Activity Monitor looking for nefarious sounding programs?"

    do you have a list we can cross-check against? thanks!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Testudo the tard

    Over eight years now and no success without physical access, special rights, or PEBCAK.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Uh Testy...

    Mr. Turtle... you do know that a trojan is not a virus, right? It's just that people seem incapable of not conflating the two into a single weak argument. Of course, the other type of Trojan can prevent the transmission of a virus. Maybe that's what confused you. Such information might be valuable in the event that you ever shove something other than your head up your arse.

  1. Woode

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Ha ha wow!

    How come this supposed Mac-specific payload is never given a name? WTG Sophos for helping keep us safe. I love how the tech media and others have latched on to this when the bigger part is about "affiliate" websites skimming money. Just a couple of paragraphs about some *possible* Mac malware that's never named, but that's what gets all the attention. This whole damned thing is WEAK.

    Oh, and Testudo, I actually *do* have a virus scanner running. It never finds ANYTHING.

  1. wings_rfs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Easy Target?

    Dino Dai Zovi and Charlie Miller at this year's BlackHat convention: "He and other Mac security experts warn that Mac OS X could prove to be an easy target if hackers were to shift significant resources to exploiting any of its security flaws."

    OK, so this article says they have focused on the Mac already, so where's the beef? If it's easy and MacOS is less secure than Windows (so they said) then they should have come up with SOMETHING real quick.

    This article has the distinct odor of B.S.

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