“For the first time Mac users around the world are the target of a malicious code, security experts warn,” Veronique De Freitas reports for WebUser.com. “The virus, named OSX/Leap-A, spreads via the instant messaging iChat program as a file called latestpics.tgz and attempts to spread to contacts on an infected user’s buddy list. According to Sophos, when the latestpics.tgz file is opened it disguises itself with a JPEG graphic icon to fool people into thinking it is harmless.”
“According to Sophos, the recent increase in popularity of Mac computers might be the reason for this attack. Until now, most virus writers were targeting Windows users, but the Mac virus maybe an attempt by someone to prove it could be done, the security company warned,” De Freitas reports. “Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: ‘Some owners of Mac computers have held the belief that Mac OS X is incapable of harbouring computer viruses, but Leap-A will leave them shell-shocked, as it shows that the malware threat on Mac OS X is real. Apple Mac users need to be just as careful running unknown or unsolicited code on their computers as their friends and colleagues running Windows.’
“Security experts advice Mac users to ensure they run up-to-date anti-virus software, but admit there are fewer anti-virus products for Macintosh than Windows,” De Freitas reports.
Full article — which also features the online poll, “Which do you think is more secure? PC or Mac?” — here.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s not the first time Mac users have been the target of a malicious code. This example is not a virus. Leap-A will leave not leave anyone “shell-shocked.” There are fewer anti-virus products for Macintosh than Windows because there are no Mac OS X viruses. Sophos themselves do not classify Leap-A as a “virus.” Otherwise — note our sarcasm — the article is correct. Of course, Apple Mac OS X users need to be careful running unknown or unsolicited code on their computers. Duh.
This is what it’s come to: making up a Mac OS X “virus” where none exists. Another offender (so far) is The Inquirer.
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Related MacDailyNews article:
New Mac OS X Trojan warning – February 16, 2006