More malware emerges for Mac OS X, but poses close to zero threat

February 21, 2006 Sophos Press Release

More malware for Mac OS X has emerged. Image copyright (c) Sophos
More malware for Mac OS X has emerged.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have advised Mac OS X users not to panic following the discovery of a new version of the Inqtana worm.

The OSX/Inqtana-B worm attempts to spread between Apple Macintosh computers via a Bluetooth vulnerability, but due to security patches and limitations built into the worm's code it is extremely unlikely to spread.

"Viruses emerging for the Mac OS X platform is headline news for Apple fans, but they are currently posing far from the level of threat that Windows users face every day," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "No-one should panic, but this is an indication that hackers are showing an increased interest in targeting the platform."

The Inqtana worms exploits a vulnerability to spread themselves to other vulnerable Mac OS X computers. However, Apple released a patch against the vulnerability in mid 2005, meaning the worm is highly unlikely to spread successfully.

Users of Mac OS X are advised to keep their software updated against the latest security vulnerabilities in Apple's code.

A report issued by Sophos last week revealed that 79% of people believed that Apple Macintoshes would be targeted more in future, following the discovery of the first Mac OS X worm.

"I wouldn't lose any sleep over the Inqtana worms, but it's important that Mac users wake up to the growing threat of malware on their favorite operating system, and take the appropriate measures," continued Cluley.

Sophos advises all computer users, whether running PCs or Macs, to practise safe computing and keep their anti-virus software updated.