Apple secretly updates Mac malware protection

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Apple’s 10.6.4 operating system upgrade earlier this week silently updated the malware protection built into Mac OS X to protect against a backdoor Trojan horse that can allow hackers to gain remote control over your treasured iMac or MacBook.

Although there is no mention of it that we could find in Apple’s release notes for Mac OS X 10.6.4, or the accompanying security bulletin, Apple has updated XProtect.plist – the rudimentary file that contains elementary signatures of a handful of Mac threats – to detect what they call HellRTS.

HellRTS, which Sophos products have been detecting as OSX/Pinhead-B since April, has been distributed by malicious hackers disguised as iPhoto, the photo application which ships on modern Mac computers…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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