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OS X Crimeware Kit Emerges

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the probably-just-holding-it-wrong dept.

OS X 202

Trailrunner7 writes "Crimeware kits have become a ubiquitous part of the malware scene in the last few years, but they have mainly been confined to the Windows platform. Now, reports are surfacing that the first such kit targeting Apple's Mac OS X operating system has appeared. The kit is being compared to the Zeus kit, which has been one of the more popular and pervasive crimeware kits for several years now. A report by CSIS, a Danish security firm, said that the OS X kit uses a template that's quite similar to the Zeus construction and has the ability to steal forms from Firefox." Mac users are also being targeted by a new piece of scareware called MAC Defender.

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Masses reaction (4, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005056)

"It can't be! Macs don't get malware! Protect us, Steve J!"

Re:Masses reaction (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005138)

Not to worry, my faithful, mandatory binary signing will be here soon enough.

Sent from my iPad.

Re:Masses reaction (4, Interesting)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005454)

The funny thing about signing binaries, it only helps to authenticate the author and to defend against the random memory corruption. It does nothing at all for defending from things like local and remote exploits, which corrupt the memory intentionally by using bugs already present in the signed binaries.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005980)

This is true. The next step up from this is restricting what apps can access, which Apple does in iOS and to some degree Google does in Android. I don't see how they'd do this for every MacOS application, but there are plenty of MacOS applications they *could* do this for. It doesn't matter if your C compiler is vulnerable to a stack smash if there's no way for a network attacker to get to it.

Re:Masses reaction (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005458)

Not to worry, my faithful, mandatory binary signing will be here soon enough.

Yes, worry. The "malware" binary will be validly signed; and in some way, not technically malware -- the malware will be part of the unsigned data payload loaded by the benign binary. The benign binary will be something like /usr/bin/python, and may be shipped with the OS itself... (how much higher a level of trust can you get for a binary?)

Re:Masses reaction (4, Insightful)

cybermage (112274) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005878)

Of course, Faust's deal with the devil was signed too.

Re:Masses reaction (5, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005278)

Not wanting to go for a cheap "FTFY", I'll just say that the reaction of everyone imitating a Mac user's reaction will be yours.

The rest of us actual Mac users carry on as normal, just like the Linux users.

Interestingly, does this count as the 44th malware threat on OS X (based on a cited post from the AV thread yesterday that said there are 43 threats over the life of OS X), or does it count as more than one, since it's a tool kit. Is a swiss army knife one tool or several? :p

Re:actual Mac users (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005478)

Actually I was playing off quotes about 2-3 stories ago "Mac doesn't need anti-virus" where slahdot users were promoting that very idea.

Re:actual Mac users (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005928)

So was I - and the story was "Does Mac/Linux Need AV" not "It doesn't" - it was a discussion. It seemed the dissenting opinions were mainly the ones saying "virus protection lies with each OS individually, so why have it on Mac/Linux just to catch Windows threats".

My opinion is "no one is safe", plan accordingly.

Re:Masses reaction (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006414)

Actually, and I'll probably get flamed for saying this, you'd be surprised how many have bought the "you just can't infect a Mac!" meme. I got called into an SMB a few years back, where the guy instead of listening to me and paying me to set up a sensible top to bottom least permission approach bought into the "can't infect a Mac!" meme and then was shocked! shocked I tell you, when he found out he got pwned thanks to one of his kids wanting to watch a naughty video and getting the DNS changer bug.

You see the problem is something we that have been in the trenches for quite awhile (I started with Win 3.x, what was that? 20 years ago?) sadly run into far too often, it is what I like to call "magical thinking". it is the "If I use product X I won't have to change my habits or anything, and I'll be unhackable" bullshit. Hell I remember when firewall resellers were pushing the "if you have a firewall you are invisible and untouchable!" and it was bullshit then and it is bullshit now.

NEWS FLASH...ALL OSes can be hacked, full stop. ALL OSes are extremely complex pieces of code, with interactions on top of interactions with third party code thrown in the mix just for shits and giggles. There is NO perfectly unhackable OS and if there was one that person could hire Bill Gates to shine his shoes. The last real legitimate gripe about Windows, the brain dead "hey lets run everyone as admin!" finally died hard with Vista, so frankly all OSes are on about the same footing, as in TFA it all comes down to what the malware writer thinks is profitable.

Think OSX is immune? Read TFA. Think Linux can't be pwned? Look at the Android malware or the KDE screensaver malware that spread awhile back or even this handy how to guide [geekzone.co.nz] on writing Linux malware.

The ONLY solution is a top to bottom least permissions approach, not magical thinking. Least permissions and users not being so brain dead they actively help the malware writer [msdn.com] is the ONLY solution.

As a final note let me give a recent example. I set up a box, had it locked down nicely, required password for admin, least permissions, yet it got pwned in under 45 days. Did I miss something? Nope, the user decided he just had to have Limewire, even though I told him not to, so he disabled the antivirus because it wouldn't in his words "shut up" and then promptly gave permissions to Limewire to do whatever it wanted. And boy did it, 60+ pieces of malware.

So in the end it doesn't matter what the OS, it doesn't matter what kind of permissions model you set up, if you have someone with admin rights that says "I want my emails from Melissa [wikipedia.org] and you WILL let me have them!" then no matter what OS, you're screwed. An OS is only as good as the PEBKAC sitting in front of it.

Re:Masses reaction (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005316)

Nobody with a brain has ever claimed that OSX is impervious. And nobody with a brain has ever claimed that OSX is impervious to PEBCAK.

What *has* been claimed is that the automatic propagation of evil over OSX (and BSD and Linux and *every other sane OS out there*) is terribly inefficient, because unless you pack the evil in a container, permissions (including the permission to execute) are stripped as soon as you send your file. And then you have to either unpack it or you have to manually assign the execute bit through right clicking and using the dialog or using chmod. And only then can you run the file.

Compare and contrast this to the Windows world where the execute bit is tied to 3 letters in the file name and Windows will duly execute the file as soon as it's double-clicked. Malware in this system goes from machine to machine because Windows assumes that a file is permitted to execute if it whispers the correct shibboleth of "exe, com, scr" or what have you.

While OSX's advantage of using the Unix model of tossing permissions does not cover warez, the equivalent of purple gorillas on OSX or braindead users, even the small amounts of protection that OSX gives goes a long way in preventing network effects on the spread of malware.

--
BMO

Re:Masses reaction (2, Interesting)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005468)

This might have been a good point in 1987, but today most serious malware spreads by exploiting bugs in legitimate software. Why rely on the user to run your evil program manually when buffer overflows and such are so abundant?

Having an "execute bit" doesn't do anything to stop that (unless you mark all your programs non-executable, of course; that'll make sure you're secure ;))

Re:Masses reaction (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005704)

You missed his point. The software runs as the user and does not run as ROOT or SYSTEM, meaning limited access at most. You may infect the user account with a buffer overflow but you won't get SYSTEM access. Now compare that to Windows and be real about it.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005834)

In Windows, software doesn't run as root or system by default, either. Since Vista, there has been UAC, unless you turned it off. Modern Windows applications cannot even write anything to Program Files without elevated permission.

That said, you seem to wrongly think that there are no privilege escalation exploits that allow malware to gain root or system privileges.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

Jezza (39441) | more than 2 years ago | (#36006002)

Sadly I know of (because we have the bl**dy thing deployed) Windows applications that don't run with UAC switched on OR the user running as anything other than administrator... I know!

In fact, in the UK pretty much EVERY school administration system is setup this way - because the software demands it. On Windows 'legacy' is one of the greatest enemies of security. On Mac OS X there is very little legacy, "Classic" is long gone, and PowerPC isn't installed by default on Snow Leopard. Expect more of the same with Lion. It makes Mac OS X a bit more of a challenge (because in every release some legacy item or other goes away) but it does help security.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006176)

And people can configure software to run as root as well. Intentionally disabling your security system should not be a valid argument.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

Jezza (39441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006214)

My point is there are a whole lot of Windows systems that HAVE to run in a way that anyone at Microsoft would probably weep at, to run legacy software. This "I'll just keep running it" attitude is endemic. It is one thing that just doesn't exist on the Mac - you simply can't, Apple take the legacy support away - quite quickly actually. It would be possible to improve Windows security a great deal faster, if they took a more "Apple approach" to legacy.

My point is legacy is the enemy of security.

When people complain that Windows Vista/7 won't run this or that bit of legacy software, and that they want better security - they are trying to argue both ends of the problem. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006216)

The reason "Legacy" on OS X is long gone, is because Apple forces developers to upgrade to NEW API's by turning off the insecure ones. old api Carbon, is gone now only Cocoa remains.

MSFT screwed up with vista and 7 in one way. all the old API's should have been left behind. If a program needed old API's then an XP-compatible mode should have been launched sandboxed to run said program.

Instead MSFT simply ported over all the old code bugs and all and wrapped a couple of layers of plastic wrap around them and called it a sandbox.(it is why the first Vista Virus came right from windows XP with no modification.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

YoshiDan (1834392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006502)

>old api Carbon, is gone now only Cocoa remains.

Since when? Apple dropped their plans to update carbon to 64 bit and they are no longer adding new features to the API but it still exists and they still release patches for it. If they dropped carbon completely there would be a lot of major applications that would not run. Adobe Fireworks and MS Office come to mind as applications I use frequently which are still largely carbon.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006644)

Uhhh...you DO know there is a butt simple way around this, yes? 1.-Install the software, 2.-Install Deep Freeze [faronics.com] or other similar software. 3.-There is no step three because at every boot you have a clean system and if there is any doubt at any time a simple reboot gets you a clean slate.

Now personally I wish MSFT would have simply built this ability into the OS, but with antitrust they'd probably be slammed by both the AV and the companies like Deep Freeze if they tried it. They offered a free version on XP called Steady State but they never bothered to update it and quietly let it die.

But in the end you really can't blame MSFT for this one, since their recommendations on writing permissions has been the same since Win2K pro, it is just nearly every third party vendor just gave MSFT the bird and wrote everything as admin because it was the lazy way to go. But if you are dealing with a vendor who after FOUR YEARS of UAC STILL hasn't bothered to write an acceptable program with normal permissions I would seriously be pushing for another vendor. After all if they can't even code correct permissions, what other shoddy code have they let slip by?

Re:Masses reaction (1)

Jezza (39441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006718)

Look I totally agree with you. The system is a mess (I'm talking about the application - "SIMS") it is shocking that it simply doesn't work properly with Windows (because it really is working against Windows). I don't "blame" Microsoft at all for this. Pretty much EVERY UK school has the same setup. I can't change it, as I'm not the one looking after SIMS - it is frequently updated (mostly because stuff doesn't work properly, usually the updates break something else) again by the local authority, and wow they don't know what they're doing.

No matter what either of us think of it, this is the situation "on the ground". I have first hand experience of this, and seeing it installed is like watching someone wilfully break Windows security. The software just doesn't run otherwise. Users have to run it as administrator, up until very recently it didn't run in 64bit Windows (I know!) and UAC has to be switched off. It also makes Windows run VERY slowly. After the install, when the system reboots (yes the system has to reboot several times during install) the system is far slower than it was before the software was installed.

As I say, this is VERY common in UK schools (far in excess of 95% of schools run this stuff).

Re:Masses reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005846)

Compare that to a supported version of Windows and you get exactly the same situation. People haven't been gunnin' for root/system for a long time because it has become much more difficult to achieve and is frankly unnecessary. It's not about p0wning the machine, it's about running a zombie, and all you need is standard user access on any of the OSes in order to drop in something that runs at login and can connect to the Internet.

Re:Masses reaction (2)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#36006018)

You may find this less comforting when all your bank account information, which is owned by you, not by root, gets scooped off of your computer over the net. Likewise, it's trivial to add startup items; these run with your permissions, so they don't have total control over the machine, but they can still stick around and propogate.

Re:Masses reaction (1, Offtopic)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006212)

On my machine, every single userspace program runs with a different uid. No program has read or write permissions to any other program's data. And that's just one line of defence. And for people that run everything as themselves, there is http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppArmor [slashdot.org] "> apparmor that will effectively do the same thing.

In fact more Windows malware is doing this (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006618)

We've come across more than a few malware apps these days that don't bother to try and install in to the system, they just install for the user. The assume correctly that most systems are single user so owning a user account is as good as owning the system.

We discovered it when someone got nailed with something Malwarebytes cleans up nicely. We ran it and it came up with a big negative, however when the user logged back in, there it was. Turns out that Malwarebytes (at the time) didn't scan all users, just the current one and the system, so when we were logged in with our user, it didn't show.

Too many geeks forget that for regular users, they run in a single user system and their data IS the computer. They don't care about downtime, they don't care about apps. They care about their data. Well, by definition, all that is owned by them so no security escalation is going to do shit.

Also, as a practical matter, people will give shit the admin/root password when asked. They don't bother to think why, they just view it as a hoop to jump through.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006158)

Except, of course, when the software with the vulnerability is already running as root or SYSTEM. Perhaps the flaw is even in the kernel (which happens from time to time).

Seriously, the execute bit argument is stupid. If someone sends a user an attachment of lady gaga nude, they're going to set the damn execute bit to view it. And malware can be malware even if it runs as the user (it can still send tons of spam and be used as part of a zombie network to DDoS people, it can still rape your address book and mail itself to everyone).

Re:Masses reaction (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006712)

If someone sends a user an attachment of lady gaga nude, they're going to set the damn execute bit to view it.

One would hope that anyone smart enough to know how to set the execute bit, would be smart enough to know not to set the execute bit.

(One would probably be disappointed, though ;^))

Re:Masses reaction (1)

YoshiDan (1834392) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006436)

And how does the malware running only with the user's permissions make anything better? So it can't mess with the rest of the system. Big deal. The user's home directory is where the user will store all their important personal documents and what have you, which will still be accessible by malware. These things being destroyed are what matter most to the user, not whether their OS gets hosed or not.

Re:Masses reaction (1, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005494)

What *has* been claimed is that the automatic propagation of evil over OSX (and BSD and Linux and *every other sane OS out there*) is terribly inefficient, because unless you pack the evil in a container, permissions (including the permission to execute) are stripped as soon as you send your file. And then you have to either unpack it or you have to manually assign the execute bit through right clicking and using the dialog or using chmod. And only then can you run the file.

Or you can just distribute through a .dmg with script that executes as soon as the user mounts the .dmg file by downloading it in safari, or double clicking it in Firefox. The scripted portion runs as soon as the .dmg is mounted, so the malware can be deployed without further user intervention.

By the way, downloading a .dmg file, mounting, and copying its contents to /Applications is the de-facto standard practice for software deployment on MacOS.

How do you execute the script? (1, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005536)

Or you can just distribute through a .dmg with script that executes as soon as the user mounts the .dmg file

You can? I don't think DMGs have anything like windows Autoplay, there's no ability to automatically run a script.

Safari will automatically play some kinds of files or mount DMG, but only if you have the option for that checked (though it is the default),

Re:How do you execute the script? (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006194)

Mounting the DMG only opens the Disk Image, I guess in theory a DVD player app could automatically play the file inside the DMG when it appears in the finder, but you already need a pre-installed vector before you can have anything auto-run. Your attack surface also includes the Disk Image mounting software, but the spec for that could be verifiable so that nothing is executed, data is just presented at mount-time.

Re:Masses reaction (2)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005512)

Compare and contrast this to the Windows world where the execute bit is tied to 3 letters in the file name and Windows will duly execute the file as soon as it's double-clicked. Malware in this system goes from machine to machine because Windows assumes that a file is permitted to execute if it whispers the correct shibboleth of "exe, com, scr" or what have you.

This hasn't been true for a *long* time. Go ahead; try downloading something and run it on any patched and updated XP, Vista, or Win7 box. At the very least, it will give you the "run unsigned application from ?", and you'll get multiple warnings on Vista or Win7.

The thing is, though, it doesn't matter how many warnings you throw up; users will simply keep clicking through everything until they get their shiny cursors. Of course, maybe Macs still have an advantage here, in that the OSX is the pinnacle of design perfection, so no user would ever *want* to download and install a purely cosmetic change.

--Jeremy

Re:Masses reaction (4, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005514)

You miss the point, I think.

Whoever double clicks something to install assuming it is legit will also gladly insert their username/password.

In terms of security windows is actually more robust from a security standpoint than mac os, but it's also targeted a lot more. And I don't mean file permissions, I mean actual design flaws.

You're safer while using a mac, no doubt about it. But the OS with the most security features IS windows.

And if you don't believe me, I'll quote:

"Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist at Cryptography Research: "The fair answer is that with the latest versions of each operating system there isn't a compelling security reason to pick one or the other. It used to be that Apple was doing a better job, but with Windows 7 Microsoft has caught up. There are some differences; Windows has a better security ecosystem. On the other hand, Apple tends to have more expensive hardware and has a smaller market share, so it attracts fewer malware writers. Both have security bugs. Both need patches. Both can be broken if someone finds a zero-day exploit."

or

"Charlie Miller, a principal analyst at consultancy Independent Security Evaluators: "Technologically speaking, PCs are a little more secure than Macs. Macs have a larger attack surface out of the box (Flash, Java, support for a million file formats, etc.) and lack some anti-exploitation technologies found in PCs like full ASLR [Address Space Layout Randomization]. This means Macs have more vulnerabilities and it's easier to turn a vulnerability into an exploit on the platform. Despite the fact it is less secure, paradoxically, Macs are actually safer to use for most people. This is because there simply isn't much risk of being exploited or installing malware."

or even

"Rich Mogull, CEO at Securosis: "It depends on which version of Windows we're talking about. Clearly there are major differences between Windows XP and Windows 7. Second is, are we talking about safety versus security? Microsoft has done more in terms of its inherent security features than Apple has in the operating system. All of that said, Microsoft gets attacked a lot more than Apple does. Right now your odds of being infected as a Mac user by malicious software are quite a bit lower than a Windows user, unless you do stupid things, such as download free versions of commercial software. And some of the pornography sites on the Internet, the dark corners of the Internet have stuff that will hurt a Mac."

It's not my opinion. It's the expert's opinion.

Re:Masses reaction (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005668)

"Charlie Miller, a principal analyst at consultancy Independent Security Evaluators: "Technologically speaking, PCs are a little more secure than Macs. Macs have a larger attack surface out of the box (Flash, Java, support for a million file formats, etc.) and lack some anti-exploitation technologies found in PCs like full ASLR [Address Space Layout Randomization]...."

Your quote from Mr. Miller is way out of date. Apple now doesn't include Flash or Java by default, and does implement (although weakly) ASLR.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005900)

Didn't notice this, but I've never installed Java on m Snow Leopard, so I assumed it was still true.

Either way, the point stands. Having a password prompt and file permissions is a start, but not the holy grail of security, not by a long shot.

Re:Masses reaction (2)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006808)

Apple now doesn't include Flash or Java by default

I have an Air from a couple months ago, and it came with Java right there in /usr/bin/. I haven't installed Lion yet, but I would be surprised if Java was absent. It's not impossible, but that would be a fairly sudden removal.

Re:Masses reaction (1)

mcdermd (901583) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005756)

Not to say he's biased but I remember getting into middle school PC/Mac wars with Kocher in 1985.

Re:Masses reaction (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005806)

Nobody with a brain has ever claimed that OSX is impervious

There you go. There's your problem right there.

Re:Masses reaction (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005964)

Compare and contrast this to the Windows world where the execute bit is tied to 3 letters in the file name and Windows will duly execute the file as soon as it's double-clicked.

No it doesn't, don't spread FUD. You will always get security warnings when trying to run unsigned executables.

Re:Masses reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006348)

Malware in this system goes from machine to machine because Windows assumes that a file is permitted to execute if it whispers the correct shibboleth of "exe, com, scr" or what have you.

Don't you mean, "sibboleth" ;)

It's about god damn time! (0)

M4n (1472737) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005068)

Mac users, welcome to the real world.

Re:It's about god damn time! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005284)

Ah, but the 10 or so years without the stress of dangerous malware or clunky AV programs has been well worth it!

I'm going to miss my smug superiority complex, though. Ah, well. Good times, good times...

Re:It's about god damn time! (1)

pixline (2028580) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005404)

So? What's the deal? We'll take care of virus and malware as always: with a translucent window, and no worries at all. (Man how much I hate those windows fanboys that insists on virus exclusiveness.... I can live without them!)

Re:It's about god damn time! (0)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005460)

So how's that Windows system goin' for ya?

How does your schadenfreude make your own Windows system more secure?

Oh, wait... you're out from under your bridge.

--
BMO

Re:It's about god damn time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005628)

I dunno, I dont use anti virus and seem to be doing pretty well.

Re:It's about god damn time! (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005802)

My Windows systems are doing extremely well. Thanks for asking.

Re:It's about god damn time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005822)

How does your schadenfreude make your own Windows system more secure?

What a desperate attempt at misdirection, he never suggested anything of the sort but your blind fanboi rage clearly won't let you see that.

Well? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005098)

All I want to know is whether this malware is worthy of the Apple platform or not: Does it use Grand Central Dispatch to efficiently allocate the load of multiple form-stealing processes between all my system's cores? Are the misleading dialog boxes that frighten me further into folly fully compliant with Apple's HID guidelines?

If I'm going to get Mac malware, I damn well better have the best malware experience that the industry has to offer. Heck, I'd probably even be willing to pay $20 for something that windows users get for free and linux nerds compile from source, if the interface is good enough...

Re:best malware experience (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005142)

Mods, parent is brilliant satire!

Re:Well? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005242)

Despite the obvious satire, the answer is yes, since the system handles GCD for the software running on it :p

Re:Well? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005336)

Despite the obvious satire, the answer is yes, since the system handles GCD for the software running on it :p

Well, no, actually, the system doesn't magically make all software use GCD. If it's using a framework where the run loop is inside the framework, the Snow Leopard and later version of the framework might use GCD, but if you have your own run loop....

Re:Well? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005426)

No, this is true but it was designed to make multi-threaded apps more simple to develop. If you're writing for OS X you can assume it's there for you in SL.

Re:Well? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36006008)

"If it's using a framework where the run loop is inside the framework, the Snow Leopard and later version of the framework might use GCD, but if you have your own run loop...."

GCD requires the application developer to explicitly call dispatch_async and pass in the task blocks to be executed.

Re:Well? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006110)

"If it's using a framework where the run loop is inside the framework, the Snow Leopard and later version of the framework might use GCD, but if you have your own run loop...."

GCD requires the application developer to explicitly call dispatch_async and pass in the task blocks to be executed.

O RLY? [apple.com]

Re:Well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005270)

Please mod parent UP.

I just don't know if to Insightful, Informative or Funny. I would consider also Flamebait, but there's no +2 Flamebait option... :-)

Re:Well? (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005480)

Just needs to be modded Flamebait then 6 people mod it "underrated".

I haven't seen a "+5 Troll" or "-1 Funny" in quite a while.

Re:Well? (0)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005520)

Sorry to disappoint, but following the Apple HID guidelines would ruin the whole beautiful malware experience.

This is one of the few things that Windows has correct.

If they are truthful to the Apple HID guidelines, they'll not be able to do things malware needs to do like display deceptive balloon boxes, masses of popups, and fake security center dialogs.

Re:Well? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005772)

Why, with restrictions like that, they might even have a chance of actually fooling an experienced user!

Re:Well? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005614)

All I want to know is whether this malware is worthy of the Apple platform or not: Does it use Grand Central Dispatch to efficiently allocate the load of multiple form-stealing processes between all my system's cores? Are the misleading dialog boxes that frighten me further into folly fully compliant with Apple's HID guidelines?

Well, that "MAC defender" scamware uses Growl [growl.info] for its fake virus notifications and with this uses the theme you selected for notification bubbles and such. Depending on your own style it's surely stylish. And you can of course even customize the theme it uses! Try that with Windows.

My bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005126)

This is my fault. I bought my first Mac on Saturday.

Re:My bad. (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005498)

You should have got it on Friday. Everyone is getting down on Friday! Saturday is for partyin' partyin' yeah! Sunday comes after-wards.

o_O

99c? (2)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005134)

Is it available at the app store?

Re:99c? (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005402)

If it was, I'm sure a few morons would download it.

requires admin privileges? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005146)

"If the user continues through the installation process, and enters an administrator’s password, the software will be installed."

I suspect that will be the case with most (if not all) of the malware crafted from this kit. Rouse me from my smug slumber when my compartmentalized privileges no longer protect me from these so-called threats.

Re:requires admin privileges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005290)

How about your grandma rouses you from your smug slumber when she "accidentally" installs the program on her own because the box just popped up and she figured it was something she asked for...

Or when she calls you to help her install this program that she's trying to download (just be sure to ask her why she's downloading it and what it is and how it happened so you don't "accidentally" install it for her without even knowing!)

DOS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005292)

Rouse me from my smug slumber when my compartmentalized privileges no longer protect me from these so-called threats.

Trojans don't need administrative privileges to DOS your Internet connection.

Can someone tell me how "form stealing" works? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005162)

I googled the phrase and I got a lot of non-meaningful results (and links to TFA). Is this some basic keylogger-type thing?

Re:Can someone tell me how "form stealing" works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005298)

You enter data in a form on firefox (say, credit card info, a login to a site, registration to somewhere), hit submit, and the malware intercepts that and sends it off to your attacker. You go on your way thinking your https session protected you when your attacker now has all the info you entered and on which site.

Re:Can someone tell me how "form stealing" works? (4, Interesting)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005442)

Assuming that this software is actually intended to be running on the "compromised" system (which I find no indication of in either TFA, the article it links to, or google results), then what it does is exploit FireFox to "hijack" cgi webscripts on websites and use them to send spam email. Pretty much it would send data through a web request to a page that's intended to send email (like forum registration perhaps) that would essentially make the email handler crash or open a backdoor and then inject spam email into the form that would get sent by the website's server. It's a clever way of getting around spam filters blocking known spam email carriers - if your spam is being sent from multitudes of legitimate websites that just have poor software security it's much harder to identify and block.

My big question is how this is supposed to get on the target system. To date, the only Mac OS X malware discovered in the wild has been virtually harmless, since it all comes in the form of a trojan. Some not very nice person disguises their malware in a piece of pirated software and upload it to torrent sites or whatnot. Some people download it and get infected because they don't realize the danger of such an occurrence. From what I've read, the security firms typically classify these trojans as extremely low-risk, with something like fewer than 50 confirmed infections. The point is, there are as yet no "drive by" or otherwise spontaneous infections you can get on a Mac. Any bad things that could happen rely on some form of social engineering or deception. The way OSes work, if you can convince an Administrator (of any system) to run something then you generally can do whatever you want. The Mac OS X security model is in many ways stronger than the Windows security model, but it's certainly not infallible. Macs are immune to the type of autorun viruses that are spread by removable media because they don't support automatic execution of programs on removable media (I can't for the life of me understand why the hell anyone would want autorun enabled on their system). On the other hand, the default OS X user/first one created is an Administrator. They aren't a superuser but things like global-scope installers have the permission to use the equivalent of 'sudo' if an Administrator enters their password. It's like UAC on Vista/7 - a large majority of people don't think twice about clicking "Yes" to whatever comes up on their screen (the other day my fiancé unwitting installed a browser toolbar and changed her home page on her PC because she didn't uncheck a few boxes in the installer for some freeware). I'd like to think that by being asked to enter a password a user is more likely to consider what they're authorizing but in most cases, the user is the weakest link.

Re:Can someone tell me how "form stealing" works? (1)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005516)

Form hijacking [e-scribe.com]
That's a concise description of form hijacking. To be clear, emails contain a very large header that specifies all sorts of things. Complimentary humorous reference [xkcd.com] .

For what it's worth, the other person who responded to your post and spoke about credit card info and https is incorrect. The reason this kit is considered similar to the Zeus model is that Zeus is designed to turn machines into an email spam-generating botnet. Other malware that hooks into a web browser could potentially intercept HTTPS communication, but that's not what they are doing according to TFA. That would require a different type of exploit.

Re:Can someone tell me how "form stealing" works? (1)

smartr (1035324) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005484)

It sounds more like a CSRF, a sort of link-jack you might say. I believe the damage would be contained to the browser. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_request_forgery [wikipedia.org] I suppose the whole grab part means there's an additional ability to scrub whatever the user is doing for other sites.

Security through Obscurity = FAIL (1, Funny)

Slotty (562298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005166)

Now we will see if Mac users are just as stupid as Windows users

Re:Security through Obscurity = FAIL (2, Insightful)

Gohtar (1829140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005260)

I submit they are more so, since they have a falsely inflated sense of security.

Re:Security through Obscurity = FAIL (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006136)

I submit they are more so, since they have a falsely inflated sense of security.

I submit that Mac users are safer with their feelings of security because they will avoid scareware, a huge threat to platforms perceived to be less secure.

So, scareware out of the Mac side of the equation, and all else being equal, who is safer randomly downloading crap off the Internet?

I know, I know!!1

Re:Security through Obscurity = FAIL (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005398)

Well, the answer will be "yes" - if you are stupid (which is harsh - let's say uninformed) enough to be fooled by the sorts of things that malware gets up to (like "click here for a free system check!" or "check it out, so sexy!!! - natalie-portmans-hot-grits.jpg.exe" then the penetration rate per-platform is going to be broadly similar. You're going to have a portion of your userbase who are susceptible to this, along with another portion who set blanket passwords for all of their activities and set it to "password1".

Windows has the problem that not only does it have to contend with this user problem (which is common to both platforms [win and OS X], and less common on Linux/non-Mac-BSD), but it has also faced the "swiss cheese operating system" problem that they have been trying to fix since malware first came about. OS X at least has the benefit of starting from a better platform (BSD core) than Windows' legacy issues. That's not to say it's immune to threats - the fact that there are security updates for OS X disprove that.

I'm surprised that there hasn't been a more high profile virus or malware outbreak on OS X before now, since even with the smaller marketshare (1 in 5 new computers sold in the US is a Mac, but total install base is still nearer 10%), the "kudos" for "sticking their nose in it" is high.

Re:Security through Obscurity = FAIL (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005828)

"check it out, so sexy!!! - natalie-portmans-hot-grits.jpg.exe"

So you are saying, the risk of being penetrated by a trojan is positively correlated with the desire to penetrate Natalie Portman? Only too true. An unfortunate corollary is that the malware can never be defeated by technological means alone.

Regarding MACDefender (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005206)

MACDefender requires that you agree to install it. It's not able to infect your Mac without your knowledge and consent.
AND : Just drop it in the trash bin to get rid of it. Hassle free. Click and drag. That's it.

BTW : The Kit has not yet proven it's functionality and works (if it does) currently only with FireFox.

Still too early for iHate, schadenfreude or panic.
There is still no single widespread, dangerous and working malware for OS X out there. Period.

Re:Regarding MACDefender (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005302)

MACDefender requires that you agree to install it. It's not able to infect your Mac without your knowledge and consent.

That's a common characteristic of scareware. It is in no way specific to the Mac.

Re:Regarding MACDefender (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005306)

MACDefender requires that you agree to install it. It's not able to infect your Mac without your knowledge and consent.
AND : Just drop it in the trash bin to get rid of it. Hassle free. Click and drag. That's it.

I know of no malware that (a) would give up so easily or (b) would not take the opportunity once it got the first privileges to run with them as far as they could.

Drag it to the trash? If it doesn't rewrite .bashrc to start a process to make sure it's installed and running when the system starts up, then it's not a proper malware. If anything, it should throw up more alerts when it detects a disruption and claim that something the user did has caused a configuration error—contact the mothership with credit card in hand to download the full version that will actually protect (snicker!) you.

The problem is the same with any other malware: once it gets its hooks into the system and a whiff of legitimacy, it should be all over the place.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to crack MacOS's security when the user either forgets to lock it down in the first place or opens the mac up specifically to let the malware in.

And the vector is the same: why crack the operating system when the user is so much more accommodating?

Re:Regarding MACDefender (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36006090)

MACDefender requires that you agree to install it. It's not able to infect your Mac without your knowledge and consent.

That's the case with software on all platforms.

Congrats Apple (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005214)

You have enough market share to be noticed. Sux to be us Mac users tho.

There is no replacement for education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005232)

A user that is willing to run any arbitrary executable (particularly as root/administrator) can infect ANY OS, whether Windows, Linux, or OSX.

The only way to solve this problem is by people having a clue and not acting like dumfucks all the time. Think before running random untrustworthy shit. The vast majority of jacked systems get so because users *allow* the malware to run, not because of some external exploit. Those happen, but not nearly as often.

Re:There is no replacement for education (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005338)

Think before running random untrustworthy shit.

Then how do you recommend that a developer of "random shit" make it trustworthy?

Re:There is no replacement for education (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005414)

Think before running random untrustworthy shit.

Then how do you recommend that a developer of "random shit" make it trustworthy?

Provide the source. Then anyone can check for himself (or, if he lacks the necessary knowledge, let a person he trusts do it).

Where others have failed, Apple will win (2)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005314)

The reason Apple will be able to win here where Windows hasn't been able to is because of the App Store for the Mac. Users who are not sufficiently savvy to vet software themselves can rely solely on the App Store to do that, and since only software that is verified by Apple can get on there, we are unlikely to see any malware sneak into the App Store or stay there for long. And if it does, Apple has the author's identity (CC info, etc), which although able to be faked could still serve as a starting point for a criminal investigation by the police. People who know enough to keep safe can still install software from other places, but for most people the App Store, privilege system based on the Unix model, and a more secure starting codebase is going to protect them.

Re:Where others have failed, Apple will win (1, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005376)

You're assuming they get this malware from installing an app - more likely they get this while browsing the net.

Anyhow who's to stupid not to know how apps work or are installed won't know not to click on a dialogue that pops up while doing something "you need to update your mac - click here!".

Re:Where others have failed, Apple will win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005508)

You may want to actually read the article BEFORE you type...not after. Just sayin...

Re:Where others have failed, Apple will win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005938)

The App Store is nothing new. Linux have had repos for more than a decade now. Apple just branded it and told everyone they invented it, just like they did with "Spaces".

Re:Where others have failed, Apple will win (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36006702)

You're absolutely right, but Apple has managed to make it easy to use, popular, and most importantly, profitable. Linux has only recently been able to achieve one of those, Ubuntu's package manager is very easy to use now but wasn't always; and that's only one distro out of many.

The success and popularity IS something new, and Apple can leverage that walled garden into a user experience no one else is going to be able to offer.

MAC ! Mac ? (1)

dr_turgeon (469852) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005320)

Dead giveaway. Fools, the MALware has the capping wrong. FAIL!

Idiotware? (1, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005334)

Since you have to enter the admin password for it to install, what's different from NT,*NIX and other OSes?

*ANY* OS can and will be compromised if the user sitting at the keyboard grants root access...

We're not talking about malware hidden inside freepr0n.wmv that will install via Windows Media Player or via an ActiveX control, or by itself on a pre-SP2 WinXP...

Re:Idiotware? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005558)

Ah, but we all know macs don't get viruses. So what's the problem with letting this totally legit-looking program install?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Z386vXrt4 [youtube.com] See? Macs don't get viruses. Only silly PCs do.

Re:Idiotware? (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005578)

Well AFAIK this is a SDK and not the malware itself that you install, with it you create malwares, and they probably don't require the user to enter the password.

Re:Idiotware? (4, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005714)

The difference is that only very few Mac apps require an admin password since most are just bundles you throw into your Applications folder (or where you want them to be) without actually "installing" (= spraying files and data all over the system) anything.

Maybe not a really huge difference, but most people are not really used to that and any app running an actual installer is eyed with suspicion.

It would help a lot if apps like Adobe Reader wouldn't needlessly come with such an installer. But then it's very nearly malware anyway.

Terms of Art (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005470)

God, I love jargon.

"Crimeware", "scareware"... I heard there's a group of Buddhist cybercriminals who have created something called "Beware". When it infects your system it gives all your worldly possessions to them.

If you happen to encounter this type of malware while using your computer, kill it.

Don't worry Apple users... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005580)

soon you will only be able to run approved applications from the Mac App Store on you Mac

But does it F'ing work?!!?? (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005788)

What I have not seen is a validation that the offered kit actually -works on a Mac- (or Linux) running Firefox. It's been asserted by the malware's marketing literature this works, but the Danish company does not state they've validated that claim.

Not only do we have no verification this works on Mac OS X/Firefox, but the "sales literature" also claims Safari and Chrome "real soon now". I'd be so shocked to see have a vendor's marketing literature end up being wrong....

Or could this be someone trying to scam the scammers?

Safe practices say, run an antivirus (1)

williamyf (227051) | more than 2 years ago | (#36005810)

No matter if your OS is Windows 5.x, 6.x, Mac OS X 10.x or GNU/Linux Kernel 2.4.x or 2.6.x. If your machine is a desktop run an antivirus.

You owe it to the rest of the world to extermitate viruses, both the many (or few) that your machine is susceptible to, as well as those that, even though will not infect your machine, will be passed on to someone else...

. ;-) ...because YOU, saavy and enlightened slashdot user, did not catch and exterminated it. Do it for the unwashed mases, that are clogging the pipes with port scans and attempts to infect, do it to have a tad fewer cheap viagra/penis enlargement offers in your spam folder, do it for the children!!!! :-)

If you "feel confident" (note the quotes) that your OS is "safe", that you use "safe practices", and the AV is a "Waste of resources", then fine, get an AV with a small footprint, both in system resorurces, and in $£¥€.

I am writing this fom Firefox 4.1 in a Mac with 10.6.7, and I am not scared at all about these developments, but, as safe practice, run ClamAV. I scan my machine every day, and scan removable media every time it is inserted. ;-)
So, please my Linux and Mac OS X brothers and sisters, stop being a bunch of snobs, get on with the program, and run an antivirus. :-)

Re:Safe practices say, run an antivirus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36005946)

I like Clam VAG. Clam AV, not so much. Slow and too many false positives.

CSI:S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36006362)

really? now if they were located in sweden or called themselfs CSID...

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