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Hackers pick Google's pocket with Mac virus

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posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Hackers pick Google's pocket with Mac virus


www.mnn.com

A virus infecting Macintosh computers is picking Google's pocket by hijacking advertising "clicks," tallying as much as $10,000 daily, according to Internet security firm Symantec.
A component of the widespread Flashback virus targets Google search queries made using Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers and directs people to pages dictated by the hackers, Symantec said Tuesday in a blog post.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
phys.org




posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Apple and Mac users have had bragging rights for a long time when it comes to virus and malware infections. Most owners of these machines don't even bother with protection.

But those days may be over if their current problems are any indicator. Now that one weakness has been exploited, it won't be long before another, and then another is found.

Which is good news for the anti-virus, and anti-malware market. There's a good chance most of the over 600,000 users infected will probably be purchasing, or at least downloading anti-virus software in the near future.


A component of the widespread Flashback virus targets Google search queries made using Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers and directs people to pages dictated by the hackers, Symantec said Tuesday in a blog post.

Looks like the three alternative browsers have a little work to do as well.

www.mnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 5/2/2012 by Klassified because: ETA

edit on 5/2/2012 by Klassified because: wrong word. Thanks Esotericizm.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:45 PM
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Not to mention the fact that a lot of antivirus and malware protection software has loopholes designed specifically to keep you coming back for more.

Whatever makes money, you know. And most people these days, unless they work in the industry, don't even realize what they're doing. You even have old people pitching in.

"Sir, press both the control button and the - "

"What, you want me to break the damn thing?"

Or maybe...

Cust. Support: "Turn the shiny side of the floppy disk down."

Cutsomer: "...Which side does the other face?"

Cust. Support: "...."



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:46 PM
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Apples general message that they are immune to nasty stuff on the internet has unfortunately attracted the technoob who if they drove a car would be lucky to even know where the petrol cap is so its hardly suprising that some hackers have decided "once you go mac you never go back" with their attempts



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:48 PM
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I'm sure its just a coincidence that not long after Steve Jobs dies ... Macs finally get a virus


mmm hmmmm



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:48 PM
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Interesting, Google can afford to loose some pocket change ;p...Although just FYI mac has never been immune to virus infection and malware it just isnt as prominent as most hackers target windows due to its superior user base. Same goes with linux, The backdoors and virus do certainly exist its just that windows owns the larger market share and as such has many many many more "targets"



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by Esotericizm
...Although just FYI mac has never been immune to virus infection and malware it just isnt as prominent as most hackers target windows due to its superior user base. Same goes with linux, The backdoors and virus do certainly exist its just that windows owns the larger market share and as such has many many many more "targets"


Well said. And true. I have explained this to many Mac users.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified

Originally posted by Esotericizm
...Although just FYI mac has never been immune to virus infection and malware it just isnt as prominent as most hackers target windows due to its superior user base. Same goes with linux, The backdoors and virus do certainly exist its just that windows owns the larger market share and as such has many many many more "targets"


Well said. And true. I have explained this to many Mac users.


Until now, macs didnt have to worry
about running anti-virus software,
welcome to the big boys

Have your reset disk ready
and never use google wallet
put that on a memo



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 

Mac's are susceptible to virii but unlike Linux users Macs cost more money and therefore are more of a viable target when discussing home users. Macs and virii are nothing new either but I would hazard a guess that "they" took the time to target some piece of software in the underlying OS containing a hole in the "used by Google" version of that software, possibly, I repeat possibly, requiring detailed and intimate knowledge of Google's infrastructure. I'm sure that if not the case it is at least a possibility Google have tested themselves or will do in the coming days.
edit on 2/5/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: Typo



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by infowarrior9970
 



I'm sure its just a coincidence that not long after Steve Jobs dies ... Macs finally get a virus


They've always had viruses.

The thing is that macs have always been very poor targets. Businesses used a lot of windows PCs. Servers usually run off of Linux or Windows.

If you are going to sell sun screen - are you going to set up shop in the Arctic Circle? Of course not - you are going to go to where people are in the sun. Similarly, if you are going to program a virus - are you going to make it to infect computers that no one uses and money transactions are not processed through?

That is soon starting to change, however. The iPhone, iPad, and other i-# have taken the markets by storm. An increasing number of people are using their phone as a form of debit card, and the iPhone represents the single largest segment of the smart phone hardware and software market (what makes the iPhone even more vulnerable to attack is the fact that a low-level attack exploiting hardware/firmware oversights such as memory overflow exploits and the like... will affect all of the iPhone holders... whereas Android and Phone Seven with their non-proprietary hardware requirements... makes them less vulnerable).

Apple has no choice but to see a greater rise in viruses due to the increasing share of their market and their dominance in the mobile markets.

It is a threat they have not adequately prepared for. Their operating system is full of holes and difficult to work with from a technical standpoint (though people like to think it's good because they can click the magic buttons and not have think about how to organize their #... try organizing things the way you want on a mac and find out just how horrible the design of the OS is - this attitude carries over in their core programming). Even worse - their customer base has been lulled into a false sense of security in believing that macs don't get viruses.

I've met some, otherwise, intelligent people who believe that macs do not get viruses. Why they put their critical thinking on hold for Mac is beyond me - but they believe it none the less. Further complicating things is the very nature of Apple's OS design - there are a lot of "behind the scenes" things that attempt to 'enhance' the user's experience and make it so they can operate their computer even if they are incapable of operating a microwave (let alone a car stereo).

Mac users simply don't have a respect for the stupidity and vulnerability of a machine. It does what it is told to do - which may very well be to # with you (if you have malware). Since the iOS is already very similar to malware in functional design (it takes what you put in and treats it as a suggestion), it only needs minor restructuring and tweaking to make it function to whatever ends one so desires.

I'll be sitting back, laughing hysterically as the i-clique is systematically dismantled by computer viruses.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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First of all LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL take that google! Yet another project that overtime i have lost faith in... Dont get me wron I dont think that Apple inc holds much integrity anymore either, but after what google pulled on SmithMicro/Oracle a little retribution outside of the courts is pretty satisfying


On the subject of Mac viruses, to any fellow mac users I recommend the software called Sophos, it has a freeware version W/ firewall protection and so far has kept me clean
Its funny how many mac users including myself believed until recently that there are no such thing as mac viruses, but the growing similarities between all computer systems and the increase in popularity of macs especially among college age people who are not properly educated on internet security really opened a big box of goodies for hackers and cybercriminals alike!



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by Aim64C
 


Also to note, anyone with a little IT experience will tell you that any published OS is designed to be riddled with holes, by which the manufacturer and associated organizations can rip data right out of your connection port, I have considered for myself browsing the internet solely on systems running more secure freeware operating systems, but that has its drawbacks of course...



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by BaronAlbatross
 



Also to note, anyone with a little IT experience will tell you that any published OS is designed to be riddled with holes, by which the manufacturer and associated organizations can rip data right out of your connection port


This is not the case.

There is considerable difference between the ability to upload dump files and various logs for crash reports and the ability of a foreign program to modify the system's processes.

In many cases, any data Microsoft (or any other company) would be interested in on your computer is all part of third party software with specially packed and encrypted data files that would take months of processing by supercomputers to defeat (for one person's files, mind you).

They've got better things to occupy themselves with.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:14 PM
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Its quite simple. If the macjine can accept a program it can be infected. People seem to think that a virus is something strange, it isnt, its just a computer program the same as any other program.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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reply to post by Aim64C
 


Thank you for that insight, but it was my understanding that once a computer is infected the virus can use certain portals in the software to deliver information to the source, perhaps in an effort to make its activity less detectable, I'm not too deep in communications myself although I surround myself with people who can usually explain these processes to me. Perhaps my previous statement was too bold and broad to merit truth



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


That really depends upon what we are talking about, in terms of viruses.

Typically, we call "just another program" that acts to compromise security and data "malware." Malware is fundamentally limited in its capability because it -does- act like every other program, and does not necessarily make special efforts to get around the security functions of machines.

Viruses, on the other hand (which can be used to insert malware or vice-versa), tend to add themselves on to various programs and files, containing instructions designed to execute the virus and populate it.

How they do this is where viruses differ from "normal" programs. In some cases - they act much like a biological virus does - utilizing the more complete set of functions of an existing program to manipulate it into spreading the virus. Others initialize in one program to set up their attack via another program (such as embedding themselves into .jpg files). And still others exploit hardware designs to modify addresses in the RAM (the operating memory of the computer) to get another process to alter its behavior in the way the maker of the virus desired.

From a hardware standpoint - yes - a virus runs on the CPU like any other program does. The unique thing about a virus, however, is that it doesn't function in the same manner as your typical program in that the lines of code are usually not meant to run in a stand-alone manner, but are meant to affect the operation of another program to get it to do what the virus's program desired.

Of course - there's little distinction, these days, between a virus, worm, hydra, and trojan. Most viruses that sport high infection rates function as many types of infection.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
(such as embedding themselves into .jpg files


You got my attention with that, never heard of an infected jpg, how is the code executed?



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 


I have found as he (Aim64C) stated that the virus uses the code to execute its results such as spreading itself and planting malware. Therefore if you were to open a file of any kind with such a code embedded into it the program or application which reads the file would be instructed by the code to comply with the will of the virus and produce unexpected effects accordingly when looking at the picture, watching the video etc..
edit on 2-5-2012 by BaronAlbatross because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by VoidHawk
 



You got my attention with that, never heard of an infected jpg, how is the code executed?


This is, actually, quite an old infection pathway. It took security companies quite a while to work out solutions for it. www.sophos.com...


The virus, known as W32/Perrun-A, was sent directly to the anti-virus community by its author and is considered to be a "proof of concept". It spreads in the form of a traditional Win32 executable virus (usually called proof.exe), making changes to the Registry to mean that JPEG (.JPG) graphic files are examined by an extractor (called EXTRK.EXE) before they can be viewed. If the extractor finds viral code inside the graphic file it is executed.


More direct execution of viral code from a .jpg can be found in this example:

www.f-secure.com...


A proof-of-concept exploit which executes code on the victim's computer when opening a JPG file was posted to a public
website on September 17th, 2004. That exploit only crashed the Internet Explorer web browser.

On September 24th, a constructor appeared that could produce JPG files with the MS04-028 exploit. This time the exploit
executed a code that could download and run a file from Internet. However, the JPG file with the exploit has to be previewed locally for the exploit to get activated; viewing a JPG file from a remote host does not activate the exploit.

On October 12th, 2004, Microsoft released several critical updates for Windows, Exchange and Office, as well as an update for the patch of the JPG vulnerability (MS04-028). Further information and a complete list of updates is available at Microsoft's TechNet Security site:


As you can see - it is more of an exploit (it utilizes oversights in the design of the program in question to modify its operation)... but that's splitting hairs, in many respects.

It also demonstrates why you should not be running as an administrator account on you computer for daily use (even though I don't necessarily practice as I preach). Viruses can propagate via exploits in the program that get it to access files, services, and system settings. Nothing should be modifying your registry without your explicit permission and intent, for example - but several programs are capable of it and being told to do so so long as the task is running with administrator privileges.



posted on May, 2 2012 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Maxatoria
 


Speaking of "technoobs", the reason that macs were by and large impervious to viruses and the like was because Apple used CPUs supplied by IBM which used the PowerPC architecture. Everything had to be specifically coded to work with that architecture. Much more practical to aim for x86 and target Windows computers.


edit on 5/2/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)




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