More Information about Worm Targeting Mac OS X Users

More information about the worm or Trojan that’s targeting Mac OS X users through social networking sites like Facebook, My Space and Twitter is now available. Computerworld is reporting that the worm now dubbed Boonana is a variant of the Koobface malware.

What Boonana Does

Koobface is a kind of Java based Malware that’s been attacking Windows based platforms for a couple of years. It enters the system through social networking sites usually Facebook. Boonana seems to be the first Koobface derived Malware specifically designed to target Apple products.

Boonana gets into Mac OS X systems when somebody clicks on a text message that asks “is this you in the video?” The friendly message contains a Java applet that contains files executable in Java Runtime Environment. The programs executed include an IRC that can take command of a computer, a keylogger features that steals names and passwords and a rootkit that hides it from security software.

Some reports indicate that Boonana can spread from Mac to Mac once it gets into a system. The purpose of this worm seems to be steal information including passwords.

The Threat to Mac OS X from Malware

The appearance of Boonana is a sign that hackers are increasingly targeting Mac OS X and other Apple systems. The bad guys are doing this because Apple users aren’t as used to dealing with viruses and taking security measures as PC users.

Mac OS X users and administrators had better get ready for a whole torrent of these worms. Another reason why Malware is targeting Mac is that there are only two Mac only security vendors Intego and SecureMac.

This means that Macs are the next frontier for the hackers. Many of whom are now exploiting the holes in social networking. Facebook in particular has had a hard time dealing with the Koobface and has even shut off accounts in attempts to keep it out.

One way to protect Mac systems from worms like Boonana could be to ditch Java which Mac OS X doesn’t need anymore. Java has quite a few holes that hackers and worms can exploit. Mac OS X used to contain a Java bundle but has dropped it probably from security concerns.

Getting rid of Java won’t protect Macs from Malware that doesn’t use Java.

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