In the debate between Macs and PCs, Macs have usually won the most secure title, largely in part due to a smaller user base and a closed, tightly regulated system. As the user base and the number of cross platform programs have expanded, so too has the number of malware and security threats. If you use Macs there’s a new malware threat you should be aware of.
Dubbed OSX/Crisis, this malware has just been discovered, and it’s an interesting one.
OSX/Crisis silently infects Mac users regardless of their status. If a user visits a website it is hosted on, or downloads an attachment with the malware attached, it will install itself without letting the user know.
As Mac users know, there are two types of users: Admin and non-admin. Admin users have rights to install and delete files, while non-admin don’t. Typically, if a user install something they have to enter an admin password to complete the install. OSX/Crisis doesn’t ask for this permission, meaning the user won’t even know they’ve been infected.
When the trojan is installed, it opens a backdoor to your computer, so a hacker can quickly and easily enter your computer without you noticing, or having to log in. The disturbing thing about OSX/Crisis is it installs different files depending on the user’s access privileges, giving hackers access to the computer regardless of authority of the user.
Intego.com, the company that found the malware has noted that there have been no cases of this malware in users. While it isn’t out there yet, chances are highly likely that it will be soon. The company also noted that it only works on OSX versions 10.6 and 10.7, earlier versions and the new version, 10.8 won’t allow it to install itself.
If you use Macs in your office, you should take precautionary steps by installing virus scanners, ensuring they’re up-to-date and conducting scans on a scheduled basis. To learn more about this threat and other security issues, please contact us.