Monday, January 26, 2009

More Malware Targeting Users of Pirated Software for Mac

Via eWeek -

A new variant of a Trojan is targeting users of pirated Adobe Photoshop CS4 software. The Trojan is related to malware uncovered last week that was packaged with pirated copies of iWork '09.

Users of pirated software have a new headache to worry about. For the second time in less than two weeks, malware targeting Mac computers has surfaced on the Web.

According to an advisory from Intego, OSX.Trojan.iServices.B is a variant of the iServices Trojan the company found last week targeting pirated copies of iWork '09. This time, the malware has its sights set on versions of Adobe Photoshop CS4 downloaded via BitTorrent trackers and other sites containing links to pirated software.

“The actual Photoshop installer is clean, but the Trojan horse is found in a crack application that serializes the program,” Intego’s advisory reads.

As of 6 a.m. EST on Jan. 25, nearly 5,000 are believed to have downloaded the Trojan, according to the advisory.


“Since the malicious software connects to a remote server over the Internet, the creator of this malware will be alerted that this Trojan horse is installed on different Macs, and will have the ability to connect to them and perform various actions remotely,” the advisory reads. “The Trojan horse may also download additional components to an infected Mac.”

Last week, the original version of the malware was found in pirated versions of Apple’s iWork '09. By 6 a.m. EST Jan. 22, the Trojan reportedly had infected some 20,000 users of the pirated iWork '09. A free tool to remove this Trojan is available on SecureMac.

Although Mac users have historically had a relatively easy time when it comes to malware—the amount of viruses targeting the Mac is far lower than those targeting Microsoft Windows—the incident does underscore the dangers of downloading pirated software.


Find out more about the growing Apple malware threat here, here, here and here.


  1. I'm actually fairly relieved to see this sort of malware bundled with warez. As a security guy and recently converted mac fanboy, mac security holds new interest in me. While it's unfortunate to see malware on the mac, it's reassuring to be ABLE to see it. Malware writers certainly have incentive to target macs given there is limited AV protection and given that mac users have enough cash to buy a mac. Additionally, this type of malware is one of the earliest forms malicious activity to target PCs. So if this is the major threat to macs, there's still time to develop better security tools.

  2. This was exactly my first thought when I read this article. It reminded me of the early days of PC viruses/malware. Back in the early 90s, you were pretty safe from most viruses if you just stayed away from shady sites and hacked software...this was how it started. Flash front to now, it is is completely changed.

    Clearly, we live in a different world today. Today malware is used to make money and build botnets, this wasn't the real focus in the early it is hard to assume that Mac malware will follow the same "timeline" of development as the original PC viruses.

    But it is a sign that threats are growing for the Mac platform and Apple users should take actions now to prepare for the future.