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Apple users no longer safe from malware, suggest experts

It may be time to dump one of the canards of the technology world - that Macs are safe from viruses. Earlier this year, reports of a possible Mac attack started appearing but now experts have confirmed that malware targeting Apple is out in the wild - and that it works.

After an initial spot by Intego in January, Symantec researchers Mario Ballano Barcena and Alfredo Pesoli have gone on to examine two Trojans - the snappily-titled OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B - and describe the way they can insert themselves on Apple machines to set up a botnet.

The malware was apparently hidden inside dodgy copies of iWork and Photoshop that had been planted online, meaning that anyone who downloaded the infected torrent (which, it has to be noted, is illegal) could potentially be at risk.

You can't read the actual paper unless you're a subscriber to Virus Bulletin, but there's more detail at ZDNet and the Register.

The impact of this discovery? That's debatable: it's impossible at the moment to discover whether anybody else is infected, and it's unclear whether these attacks could spread. Plus it doesn't mean that every piece of malware that we see on Windows machines could potentially hook in Apple users too.

But the short term effect, at least, is more straightforward. It's time for Apple users to start thinking seriously about malware. Oh, and it's perfect flamebait for Windows fans who feel like taking a pop at their mortal enemies.


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