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  • Intego Warns of New "Malware for Mac"



    Intego has discovered a new variant of malware for Macs dubbed HellRTS. Should it be installed on machines running Mac OS X, HellRTS opens a backdoor that, in a nutshell, wreaks havoc by allowing remote users to essentially play "Avatar: the home game" with your Mac and take control of infected machines, performing a variety of actions on them.

    Intego, which recognizes the aforementioned security threat as OSX/HellRTS.D, is actually a variant of a six-year old Mac OS X
    malware. A potentially dangerous entity, HellRTS is sophisticated enough to - as Intego warns - set up its own server and configure a server port and password. And it's only downhill from there, as it intelligently "duplicates itself, using the names of different applications, adding the new version to a userís login items, to ensure that it starts up at login."

    Getting installed on a Mac, unfortunately, isn't too terribly difficult for HellRTS, which can find its way in via a Trojan horse or by capitalizing on a known vulnerability via a program accessed through a web browser. Intego says HellRTS can send e-mail with its own mail server, contact a remote server, and provide direct access to an infected Mac. As if that weren't scary enough, the malware variant is also capable of establishing remote screen sharing and powering down or restarting your Mac.

    It should be noted, however, that Intego can't point to the discovery of any such infections in the wild. But it's out there and being distributed on forums prowled by malicious users who all but certainly would love to take HellRTS out for a dastardly spin to see what it can do.

    For more info on HellRTS, check out Intego.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Intego Warns of New "Malware for Mac" started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. metaljay's Avatar
      metaljay -
      wow, didnt see this coming
    1. amirsorial's Avatar
      amirsorial -
      How can I protect my mac from it ?!
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      I wonder if this will prompt Apple to patch the hole... or prompt a bunch of Mac users to go by anti-virus software.
    1. francesthemute19's Avatar
      francesthemute19 -
      Lame.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Quote Originally Posted by amirsorial View Post
      How can I protect my mac from it ?!
      You have to buy THEIR software of course, lol. $49.95...Marketing press release... hmm... possibly.

      Means of protection: Intego VirusBarrier X6 detects and eradicates this malware, which it identifies it as OSX/HellRTS.D, with its threat filters dated April 15, 2010 or later.
    1. metaljay's Avatar
      metaljay -
      lol i just bought it, not because of this info, but because i have some important work files etc...paranoid i know but meh...


      and i no i shouldnt mention, but i managed to get the upgrade price for a new customer (if you have [or in my case, found] a virusbarries x5 serial, when you purchase the software, it asks for a previous serial key)

      so i got it for £33 instead of £45

      i no i shouldnt have, but hay, you guys made the plug lol
    1. iest's Avatar
      iest -
      So often there's OSX malware scares.

      And who is always telling us this kind of information?

      Software companies that would love to sell you their product to protect you from it...
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Lol. What happened to macs not getting viruses?

      And the best thing? This wont affect PC's.

      WIN
    1. mth785's Avatar
      mth785 -
      Talk to me when it's in the wild.
    1. metaljay's Avatar
      metaljay -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      Lol. What happened to macs not getting viruses?

      And the best thing? This wont affect PC's.

      WIN
      u tool, this is malware
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      ... yeah, I'm not worried.
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      The only reason macs don't get viruses is because people don't actively program viruses for macs its not some superior defense in a mac that makes them have less viruses its the fact that less people use macs and the majority use windows for running a business etc. When making a virus the creator thinks to himself how will I make the most out of this virus infecting a bunch of macs and gaining access to their videos and music or infecting a bunch of windows computers (which have a higher user base) and gaining access to potentially more confidential files.

      The huge price tag Apple puts on the mac while being total BS and most likely gaining Apple about 80%-90% profit per mac sold does help keep viruses off the software because no one is going to program viruses for something overpriced when they can make more money programming them for windows.

      Like someone mentioned before its weird how these viruses are found by anti virus companies (and they never seem to be big anti viruses companies like nod) but no users every see them I'm willing to bet they did create the virus themselves or had someone else do it without ever actually planning on distributing it. They can't compete with established anti virus companies on Windows so they have to become the go to people for mac.

      Quote Originally Posted by metaljay View Post
      u tool, this is malware
      Malware means malicious software a virus is malicious software ... tool

      "duplicates itself" <-- is exactly what a virus does in computers and in biological life.

      A circle is shape but a shape doesn't have to be a circle.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Meh, you figure that every so often something like this is going to pop up. I don't (and likely will not ever) own a Mac Computer. I don't see the benefit of it for an experienced and careful Comp user.

      However, it should be noted that these occurrences are rare *(c)riku98523's explanation* and seem apple seems to take great pride in being able to avoid and fix these types of things. The price tag depends on it.
    1. reznor9's Avatar
      reznor9 -
      Let's not forget that Newer Macintosh operating systems, such as the Mac OS X, is built on the Unix kernel, which is one of the oldest and most secure operating systems available. Much more than a PC running windows.

      Bottom line is that its alot eaisier to create a virus that attacks the internals of the OS of windows systems.. Windows file system is very open, and most apps dip their hands into the same cookie jar so to speak in order to function... Makes the perfect breeding ground for s virus to spread. Macs are more self contained in their operation. The app packages on a Mac don't dip around the OS like windows apps do... It's not impossible, but it's a lot more complex to write a malicious virus for a Mac... The only viruses you ever hers about are usually Trojans used for fishing scams. Stay away from porn sites and warez and you should be able to avoid those too.

      I love my macs. ^^
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Most viruses these days attack vulnerabilities in common 3rd party programs these days.. not the OS itself in either case. Browsers are common because of plug-ins such as Flash and Java. Adobe reader is another common attack point. MS Office.. etc.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      Most viruses these days attack vulnerabilities in common 3rd party programs these days.. not the OS itself in either case. Browsers are common because of plug-ins such as Flash and Java. Adobe reader is another common attack point. MS Office.. etc.
      but don't .exe files have to be written differently to work with the OS. that way, they're not really the same program
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Yes... you have to write completely different code for each OS. Some viruses can auto install and execute just by going to a specific web page if you have that particular exploited plug-in running... for the specific OS it's written for of course.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      well i'll be buying a PC soon for college, (because of macbooks poor speed/battery), and after seeing this, i think i'll be putting on ubuntu or some weird OS like that which gets no malware of any kind
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      Lol. What happened to macs not getting viruses?

      And the best thing? This wont affect PC's.

      WIN
      This wont affect PCs but everything else out there will. And Macs are not 100% safe. There are viruses out there it's just that they aren't common.

      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      well i'll be buying a PC soon for college, (because of macbooks poor speed/battery), and after seeing this, i think i'll be putting on ubuntu or some weird OS like that which gets no malware of any kind
      Actually MacBooks have pretty good battery life. I have Windows and Mac OS on my MacBook and honestly the Windows OS drains the battery a lot quicker. As far as speed the Windows 7 is faster. But i would say to you to try the MacBook out anyway and use the included bootcamp to install windows. You'll have the best of both worlds

      Also, there is no OS that is completely safe any OS can have malware and remember Ubuntu is based off of linux/Unix...so is Mac OS. You just have to be safe as to what you install and what sites you visit.
    1. yomamashump's Avatar
      yomamashump -
      My Personal Operating System Breakdown:

      Mac = Easy to use, very few virii/malware, limited hardware compatibility options

      Unix = Hard to use, almost no virii/malware, better but still limited hardware compatibility options

      Windows = Average use difficulty, lots of virii/malware, best hardware compatibility options


      Take your pick. They all have flaws. The best OS would be

      Winbuntu X

      Windows compatibility
      Mac style and ease of use
      Linux Freedom