TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Second Apple Worm Targeting Macs Found

Second Apple Worm Targeting Macs Found

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 21 Feb 2006 13:21:57 -0600

A new computer worm targeting Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh
computers has been identified for the second time in one week,
security experts said.

The new worm, called OSX.Inqtana.A, spreads through a vulnerability in
Apple's OS X operating system via Bluetooth wireless connections,
antivirus company Symantec said.

"We have speculated that attackers would turn their attention to other
platforms, and two back-to-back examples of malicious code targeting
Macintosh OS X ... illustrate this emerging trend," said Vincent
Weafer, senior director at Symantec Security Response.

The latest virus follows OSX/Leap-A, which was identified last week
and believed to be the first such virus targeting the Mac
platform. That worm attempts to spread via Apple's iChat instant
messaging program, which is compatible with America Online's popular
AIM instant messaging program.

Symantec said the latest worm attempts to use Bluetooth connections to
spread by searching for other Bluetooth-using devices that will accept
requests for a connection when the computer is restarted.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology used to transmit data among devices
at short distances.

The worm spreads via a vulnerability in the OS X operating system
called the Apple Mac OS X BlueTooth Directory Traversal Vulnerability.

If a Bluetooth connection is made, the worm attempts to send itself to
those remote computers. However, the worm itself does not appear to
pose an immediate threat.

"While this particular worm is not fully functional, the source code
could be easily modified by a future attacker to do damage," Weafer
said, adding that Mac users should install available software patches
to their operating systems to prevent such attacks.

The latest worm was identified on Friday. Both worms are ranked a
Level 1 threat on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe,
Symantec said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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