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First Mac Botnet has arrived - New York Times

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  • John Rethorst
    http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/mac-security-iii-the-rise-of-the-botnets/ April 17, 2009, 6:25 PM Mac Security III: The Rise of the Botnets By
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 17 4:53 PM
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      http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/mac-security-iii-the-rise-of-the-botnets/

      April 17, 2009, 6:25 PM
      Mac Security III: The Rise of the Botnets
      By RIVA RICHMOND

      Malicious programs for Macs are rare and, even when they do show
      up, rather primitive. Well, they just got a little less rare and a bit
      more sophisticated.

      A pair of researchers at security software maker Symantec have
      found what may be the first successful Mac "botnet," ZDNET reports.

      A botnet is a group of computers–often home machines–that have
      been quietly infiltrated, commandeered and networked by attackers
      so they can be used to carry out any number of nefarious acts. This
      one has apparently been launching denial-of service attacks against
      an unnamed Web site, which means it has been hitting the site with
      tons of Web traffic in an effort to knock it out of service.

      According to the Symantec researchers, the botnet has some
      sophisticated capabilities that suggest the work of an experienced
      programmer who may have rented out his creation to someone else
      who actually used it to launch denial-of-service attacks, a common
      business model seen in botnets formed from Windows PCs.

      Attackers created the botnet by seeding BitTorrent and other
      file-sharing sites with pirated software that contained a Trojan
      Horse. Some 20,000 Mac users had downloaded bad copies of
      Apple's iWork 09 by the time Intego, a security software company
      that sells products for Macs, publicized its findings in January.
      Intego found a second version of the Trojan a few days later inside
      copies of Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Mac.

      This activity is still somewhat primitive, says security researcher
      Dino A. Dai Zovi, an independent security researcher and author
      of "The Mac Hackers Handbook." "Trojaned pirated software is still
      an early phase in the rise of malware on a platform. But that means
      that more hostile attacks can't be too far behind."
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