Mac OS Trojan F.U.D.

Ok, so many security firms are touting that there is a Mac OS Trojan horse out in the wild. Big deal. I myself do not consider this a true exploit because it relies on the user downloading the file, opening it, and giving their root password. This Trojan, aptly named, requires you to go to a pornographic site, so yes, there will be some that get bitten; however, a vast majority of the Mac OS X users won’t run across this exploit. A true exploit would be something like the iPhone Tiff Exploit, that allows a malformed TIFF file to run some code.

Steps To Protect Yourself

With that said, there are several things that any Mac OS X user can do in order to protect themselves.

First, do not download programs that you do not know of their origins. Let us brave souls who are willing to risk a machine do that. It’s just easier.

Secondly, try to think… if you get prompted for your root password and you haven’t changed a preference or knowingly installed a new program, click Cancel, this will prevent the Disk image from being mounted and executed.

Third, it doesn’t hurt to have a virus scanner installed, but not running, just to verify that files are legit.

Fourth, There is a preference under Safari called “Open ‘Safe’ files after downloading.” If you uncheck this you will not automatically mount disk images. or open other files. This browser behavior may be convenient, but remember that this is how many of the Windows folks get bitten by malware. For us switchers or sliders, myself included, we should not be bringing our old habits with us to the new OS.

At some point in the not to distant future I foresee the time when we will have direct attacks towards the Mac OS X operating system. Whatever the reason, whether it be due to market share, security, or whichever reason you want to come up with, there isn’t much attacking of the Mac OS X operating system currently.

Remember, a computer is only as secure as one makes it. So if you don’t take the time to make sure you are being cautious on the inter-webs, you’re likely to get bitten by some sort of malware, whether you’re on Mac OS X or on Windows.

Wayne

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