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Trojan Malware Targets Macs on the Web
Trojan Malware Targets Macs on the Web

By Jennifer LeClaire
March 21, 2013 1:26PM

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There are several ways for Trojan.Yontoo.1 to get into a Mac, said security firm Dr.Web. In order to spread the Trojan, criminals crafted movie trailer pages that prompt users to install a browser plug-in. In fact, when clicked, the prompt redirects users to another site from which Trojan.Yontoo.1 is downloaded on to their Macs, Dr.Web said.
 


Mac malware is a rare breed, at least compared with Windows and Android. But when Mac malware does manifest, it's often especially nasty. Trojan.Yontoo.1 is no exception.

Trojan.Yontoo.1 is not new for security researchers, but more than one firm is reporting the rise of this malware on computers running Apple's OS X. The Trojan is sneaking in through an adware plug-in on popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Microsoft's Internet Explorer was not mentioned.

Alex Horan, a senior product manager at CORE Security, told us the malware is a sign that Apple has enough market share to be a viable target for attack.

"In one sense it is an endorsement of their growth, on the other hand it means they have to take a responsible and proactive approach to security," Horan said. "In the past, Apple has claimed to be virus-free, when in reality they simply were not an attractive target. Unfortunately they may have created a feeling of immunity for their users, who, as a result, may be slow to apply patches and remain vulnerable to attacks for a long period of time."

A Mac Malware Poster Child

Russian antivirus company Dr.Web is reporting a general rise in adware targeting Mac OS X since January. And the firm reports that Trojan.Yontoo.1 is the most prominent.

"Criminals profit from affiliate ad network programs, and their interest in users of Apple-compatible computers grows day by day," Dr.Web reported in a blog post. "Recently discovered, Trojan.Yontoo.1 can serve as a striking example of such software."

According to Dr.Web, there are several ways for the Trojan to get into a computer. In order to spread the Trojan, the firm said, criminals crafted movie trailer pages that prompt users to install a browser plug-in. In fact, security analysts said, the prompt only imitates a common dialogue displayed when a plug-in needs to be installed or additional configuration is necessary.

"After clicking on 'Install the plug-in', the user is redirected to another site from which Trojan.Yontoo.1 is downloaded," Dr.Web said. "Criminals have also provided for a number of alternative ways to spread this threat. The Trojan can also be downloaded as a media player, a video quality enhancement program or a download accelerator."

An Insidious Attack

When launched, Dr.Web said, Trojan.Yontoo.1 displays a dialog window that asks the user if they want to install Free Twit Tube. However, the firm continued, after the user presses "Continue," instead of the promised program, the Trojan downloads from the Internet and installs the plug-in Yontoo for Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

"While a user surfs the Web, the plug-in transmits information about the loaded pages to a remote server," Dr.Web wrote. "In return, it gets a file that enables the Trojan to embed third-party code into pages visited by the user."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

GaryLK:

Posted: 2013-03-29 @ 2:43am PT
To get this you need to agree to install a browser plug in to view a movie trailer or a media player, a video quality enhancement program or a download accelerator.

Then you need to agree to "Free" Twit Tube.

Macs are almost impervious to malware, but there are determined fools who get around almost everything. Other twits see this as evidence of a Mac defect.

I have had macs since 1994 and keep backups of old computers on a extra hard drive. Recently I had a problem I thought was in my computer and then ran every Mac anti virus on everything. The only thing I found was a phishing attempt link in an email from 2008. The problem turned out to be malware, a dns switcher in the router not my computer. I have been to many strange internet sites and nothing.

The argument that low market share prevents malware being written for Macs is getting to old. If it could be done, some jerk would do just for the bragging rights.

DMoore:

Posted: 2013-03-22 @ 11:46am PT
"Internet Explorer was not mentioned" IE not supported in OS X! "Apple-compatible computers" ?? This is horrible writing.

Bo:

Posted: 2013-03-21 @ 2:42pm PT
Silly noobs....Macs are impervious to viruses. Just ask any Mac user and Apple. They will assure you they are safe.



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


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