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New Mac Worm Spreads Via Bluetooth

A new worm designed to attack the Mac OS X operating system has been submitted to an anti-virus company, this one crafted to spread via a vulnerability that Apple recently patched in its version of Bluetooth, a communications technology built into many newer Macs that allows machines to communicate wirelessly with other similarly equipped devices within a short range (about 30 feet on average).

According to a post over at F-Secure's blog, the worm -- dubbed OSX/Ingtana.A -- "is a proof of concept worm for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)" that "tries to spread from one infected system to others by using Bluetooth OBEX Push vulnerability."

F-Secure goes on to say that this worm has not been spotted in the wild, and "uses [a] Bluetooth library that is locked into [a] specific Bluetooth address and the library expires on [Feb. 24]. So it is quite unlikely that Inqtana.A would be any kind of threat."

This worm poses no new threat to Mac users, but it's notable because it comes just a day after security experts spotted the first OS X threat posted to an online message board. This may be nothing more than a copycat reaction to a new threat that received a great deal of media attention, or it could be the beginning of the end of the days when Mac users never had to worry about keeping up with security patches or refraining from clicking on e-mail and instant-message links.

There is no reason to freak out about this. It may well be that this is the last we hear of threats targeting Macs for a long time, but I doubt it. If you use Mac OS X, make sure you are up to date on security patches. Users can obtain patches from Apple Downloads or through Software Update.

By Brian Krebs  |  February 17, 2006; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings  
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Comments

liuyjhtdgf

Posted by: oihgfdt | February 17, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

>>a communications technology built into many newer Macs that allows machines to communicate wirelessly with other similarly equipped devices within a short range (about 30 feet on average).

Given this previous story:
http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2006/01/windows_feature.html

and now this for Macs, I begin to wonder if the whole notion of "automatically create _ad hoc_ wireless networks to other random machines" isn't a malware/hacker disaster looking for a place to happen, because its designers simply haven't thought it through.

Posted by: Mark Odell | February 19, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Surely these security scares benefit the security firms that report them. So far, none of these worms/viruses/whatever have been actual infections in the wild, maybe proof-of-concept at best. "Hey, we found this germ in the lab so the whole world should panic and buy our cure." Yeah, whatever. Apple are quick to patch vulnerabilities before they become an issue, and I'm betting that really bothers the security firms that can't create enough Mac-panic to sell their OSX anti-virus software. Maybe instead of proof-of-concept we should refer to Mac malware as yet-to-see.

Posted by: Ellie | February 19, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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