The Duo seems to have been a failed experiment for battery maker Energizer in more ways than one. Sales of the USB nickle-metal battery charging station never really took off, and now, via a press release, the company has announced the monitoring software distributed with the Duo packs a fairly nasty Windows trojan. The rogue code, according to Computerworld: “listens for commands on TCP port 7777… can download and execute files, transmit files stolen from the PC, or tweak the Windows registry. The Trojan automatically executes each time the PC is turned on, and remains active, even if the Energizer charger is not connected to the machine.” Energizer released a statement saying: “Energizer is currently working with both CERT and U.S. government officials to understand how the code was inserted in the software.” More →
After a wave of attention surrounding a post on Apple’s support pages over the past few days, Cupertino has decided to pull the page from its site. The post in question encouraged “the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.” As Apple’s OS X has yet to have any significant threats posed against it, the blogosphere questioned both the necessity and integrity of the recommendation, noting that two of the three recommended antivirus applications were available for sale from the Apple Store. Here we are a day or so later and Apple has removed the page from its site, stating:
We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate. The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection.
If that’s the case, then why pull the article? Is Apple now comfortable leaving its computer users vulnerable and open to an attack? Some speculate that Apple removed the note due to poor and confusing wording but if that were the case, surely the company would have merely clarified its position and recommendation rather than removing it completely. Right? Hopefully Apple will further clarify its position over the coming days as for the time being, some might say it looks like the company was looking to make a quick buck from less savvy users. After all, Apple doesn’t even require the use of antivirus software on its own in-store display units or the internal computers used by store employees.
It looks like the care free days when Mac owners could sit back and relax without having to worry about malware are indeed coming to an end – maybe. Last month we told you about two new pieces of OS X malware that had been discovered and while neither poses a significant threat in most people’s eyes, it is clearly a sign of things to come. As loyal and vocal as Mac computer users are, until recently they hardly represented a significant portion of the market. As such, those responsible for creating end user-targeted malware focused on Windows since it was the clear and overwhelming market leader. Now that Apple’s computer market share is growing however, Mac user complacency with regards to viruses might lead to some big and easy scores for malware. Apple recently posted the following technical note as a result:
Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.
The page goes on to recommend three antivirus solutions for OS X, two of which are offered for sale in the Apple Online Store. For the time being, we still haven’t heard any reported cases of a virus actually finding its way to a Mac computer in a real life situation so the following question is posed: Has Apple just firmed up its deals with antivirus providers or are we really in store for a hail storm of Mac malware sooner than we think? In either case, at least we won’t be seeing the commercial above air again any time soon.
Ruh roh, as Scooby would say. Once relatively untouchable, security experts have now found what they claim to be two new pieces of malware specifically targeting OS X. The first, ‘OSX.RSPlug.D’, is a Trojan capable of rerouting internet traffic to a malicious DNS server which will draw users to phishing sites and ads. So far the only reported sources of the Trojan are porn sites where it sits masked as a codec needed to display certain videos. The second piece of malware, ‘OSX.Lamzev.A’, is much less of a threat. While is is surely capable of doing some serious damage by letting hackers install backdoors in an affected user’s system, a hacker would need physical access to the user’s computer in order to place it. This news might not be terribly huge for most users right now, odds are it is indeed a sign of things to come as Apple computers grow more popular thus drawing the attention and resources of malicious hackers. No need to panic for the time being however, just watch where you go for, err, entertainment.