Thursday, February 16, 2006

A worm in the Apple?

For years now, Mac users have been crowing about how there are no viruses that attack Apple machines. Well, pucker up, guys:
Reports indicate that someone has let loose a “Trojan horse” or worm for Mac OS X users. The program is hidden within a package that purportedly contains screenshots of Apple’s as-yet unannounced next major revision to Mac OS X. Whether it’s a Trojan horse or worm seems to vary depending on the source of the information. The code has also elicited a response from Apple, and a warning to its customers.

The package, called “latestpics.tgz,” first surfaced recently on a Mac rumors Web site. Independently verified by Ambrosia Software president Andrew Welch, he’s dubbed it the “Oompa-Loompa Trojan,” because the files in question check for the presence of an attribute called “oompa” — an apparent reference to the movie and book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
This is such a new phenomenon that the exoerts can't even agree on whether this thing is a Trojan Horse or a virus. Welch says it's the former, and an anti-virus company called says it's the latter, as does Symantec.

Apple told Macworld that it's not a virus:
“Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file,” said Apple. “Apple always advises Macintosh users to only accept files from vendors and Web sites that they know and trust. We have a guide to safely handling files received from the Internet at”
Either way, I'd say yhtis was bound to happen sooner or later, and it'll probably get worse as the years go by. I've frankly never understood why there weren't more viruses that attacked Macs. Is it because they have a superior operating system, or because the kind of geeks that program viruses would rather just stick it to Microsoft?

Related: Learn to write a f'n limerick. Seriously, that just sucks.


andy said...

the reason there are not more mac virus or trojans is that macs do not make up a significant enough number of the total computing population. most virus writers want to have a huge impact, which is why they spend more time on windows stuff. plus, i think unix based operating systems are harder to write stuff for. i could be wrong though.
what i don't understand are people who hate the mac or hate windows. they are just computers and operating systems. each have their uses.

TODD said...

I thought this would never happen.
Well I won't open the file anyway...

Sean, like your blog.....

Merovign said...

Just to revive this with a little history. back in the Antediluvian Times of computing, when I was but an ankle-nipper, the Apple Mac Virus community was in fact more active than the PC Virus community. Sometime around 1990 that changed, and the many early Mac viruses (which we mostly more annoying or cutesy and less dangerous) have disappeared down the memory hole.

I was active in the FidoNet BBS community back before the Web came into use, and it was a commonly discussed issue.