February 16, 2006

New Mac Worm

From Sophos, the security firm, comes news of a new worm — wait for it — for Macs. Apparently it attacks via IM.

This is actually the second Mac-related worm/virus/threat I've heard of; while this worm is judged to be of low threat (well, it does "Delete files off the computer" which would seem to be an issue, no?), it's perhaps not so great to depend for security on the fact that most viruses/worms are written to target Windows operating systems. No longer so safe an assumption.

Why not? Because, like most Windows-related threats, this one relies on the user to activate it. That's how these things tend to work: user error and misjudgment.

[Added 2/17/06] Via MarketingVox, Forbes article Job's Mac OS X
Attacked By First 'Real Virus'
explains:

A Web site devoted to Mac rumors said it all started on its own site on Feb. 13, when an unknown user posted a linked file called latestpics.tgz on its forum, purporting to be screenshots of the latest Leopard Mac OS X 10.5. When decompressed, the file reportedly appeared as a JPEG icon, but was in fact an executable file in disguise.

Let me amend the above: user error, misjudgment … and trickery.

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