Technology News
Published: Oct 6, 2014
Mac malware botnet remedy [VIDEO]; Mac.BackDoor.iWorm infects 18,500 via Reddit.com
by Tashi Singh


Mac malware botnet remedy [VIDEO]; Mac.BackDoor.iWorm infects 18,500 via Reddit.com, The news that some 18,500 Apple Mac computers had been infected with malware and hijacked into botnets signaled an "end of the innocence" for Mac owners who have long been told -- and believed -- their computers were safe from the hacks and attacks so common to Windows PCs.

Macs were different, the mantra went, and the Mac operating system safe from the kinds of security holes always popping up in Windows.

In truth, any Mac can be hacked, so why the belief they were somehow "safe?"

The sophisticated malware – dubbed Mac.BackDoor.iWorm - opens a port on an infected computer and awaits an incoming connection. It sends a request to a remote site to acquire a list of control servers, and then connects to the remote servers and waits for instructions.

It is worth mentioning that in order to acquire a control server address list, the bot uses the search service at reddit.com, and — as a search query — specifies hexadecimal values of the first 8 bytes of the MD5 hash of the current date. The reddit.com search returns a web page containing a list of botnet C&C servers and ports published by criminals in comments to the post minecraftserverlists under the account vtnhiaovyd.

Macs, though powerful, useful and even predominant in certain fields like publishing and graphic design, have until now been considered "niche" computers, beloved by their owners but spurned by the majority of the computer-buying public in favor of the ubiquitous Windows-running PC clones.

So until now it hasn't been worth the time of the spammers, scammers and malware-writing computer criminals to go after Macs, when the countless millions upon million of Windows computers were such an attractive target.

Congratulations, Mac owners, on your favorite computer joining the big leagues.

Oh, and be careful what you wish for.

It's important to stress that Reddit isn't spreading the infection – it's simply providing a platform that is helping the botmasters communicate with the Mac computers they have managed to infect.

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