Apple kicks SMS scam fraudsters to the curb

Dec 14, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org)—Just what you never wanted. Mac-based malware, just ponder that phrase alone, not Windows-based but Mac-based, that tricks users into paying subscription fees. The malware masquerades as an installer for various software titles. The caper lies in the trick installer, which will tack fees on to the user's mobile phone account, so that the victim is stuck with unintended bills. The Trojan targeting Macs was discovered by Russia-based security company, Dr. Web. Its alert went out that this is malware targeting OS X systems. The Trojan is known as Trojan.SMSSend.3666, and Dr. Web said it was the first program of its kind to go after Mac OS X.

The ruse was in offering an installer for a program and the victim was asked for a phone number in order to register. Then the person was asked to respond to a subsequent . "Fraudsters ask that the victim enter their cellphone number into an appropriate field and then specify the code found in a reply SMS. By performing these actions the user agrees to terms of a chargeable subscription and a fee will be debited from their mobile phone account on a regular basis," according to Dr. Web.

The Trojan.SMSSend.3666 installer, according to CNET, is not a Java-based maneuver to gain backdoor system access but instead is built as a Mach-O binary that uses the OS X native runtime.

This sort of malicious installer scheme may sound familiar to Windows users who follow security alerts but this was news for Mac users. The good news for is that Apple sprang into action and out came a report that Apple quickly updated malware definitions to detect the scam Trojan. Apple added definitions for the malware to its "Xprotect.plist" blacklist, which is part of basic anti-malware tools that Apple launched with OS X in 2009.

Nonetheless, the security scene is changing whereby more and more experts are warning users to get out of the comfort zone thinking are not ever vulnerable. The recent discovery by Dr. Web of the installer scam indicates all computer platforms are fair game.

This advice was issued on the Doctor Web site, warning users "against installing programs if they are required to submit their phone number or send a text message—most likely, you will lose money and end up with nothing."

It pays, not costs, to use your search engine to try calling on the official site to take advantage of a free service, to avoid getting stuck with rogue installers.

Explore further: IBM unveils cognitive exploration to drive better business outcomes

More information: threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/sms… pple-machines-121212
news.drweb.com/show/?i=3138

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User comments : 5

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Scott_Johnson
not rated yet Dec 14, 2012
Another scam everyone should be aware of is the Amway Tool Scam. Google stoptheamwaytoolscam for more information.
DirtySquirties
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 14, 2012
So not true! Mac cannot have viruses or malware, ever! It's the truth that all those moronic M$ fanbois can't seem to understand. It's completely impossible for an Apple product to have any such flaws because they actually care about their customers.

M$ is just throwing money out the door to try to smear the perfection that is Apple. Too bad it failed! Anyone with half a brain can see through this horrible attempt at corporate warfare by M$ and, as usual, M$ is completely and utterly failing. Just like everything else they do. I can't believe M$ has clung on to the coat-tails of Apple for so long, it's disgusting. Where are they getting money? I don't know anyone in my whole family or group of friends who uses M$ bloatware anymore.
migbasher
4.7 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2012
So not true! Mac cannot have viruses or malware, ever! It's the truth that all those moronic M$ fanbois can't seem to understand. It's completely impossible for an Apple product to have any such flaws because they actually care about their customers.

M$ is just throwing money out the door to try to smear the perfection that is Apple. Too bad it failed!
Anyone with half a brain can see through this horrible attempt at corporate warfare by M$ and, as usual, M$ is completely and utterly failing. Just like everything else they do. I can't believe M$ has clung on to the coat-tails of Apple for so long, it's disgusting. Where are they getting money? I don't know anyone in my whole family or group of friends who uses M$ bloatware anymore.


Abit delusional are we? Someone forget to take their medicine? Google is your friend.
Smerff
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2012
So not true! Mac cannot have viruses or malware, ever! It's the truth that all those moronic M$ fanbois can't seem to understand. It's completely impossible for an Apple product to have any such flaws because they actually care about their customers.

M$ is just throwing money out the door to try to smear the perfection that is Apple. Too bad it failed! Anyone with half a brain can see through this horrible attempt at corporate warfare by M$ and, as usual, M$ is completely and utterly failing. Just like everything else they do. I can't believe M$ has clung on to the coat-tails of Apple for so long, it's disgusting. Where are they getting money? I don't know anyone in my whole family or group of friends who uses M$ bloatware anymore.


lol sarcasm is fun
Shadhavar
5 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2012
Anyone can write software that does something bad when the user actively installs it. MACs do not have a virus problem.. they have a malware problem. There really isn't much of any viral activity to be concerned about. Not saying its perfectly safe. The software we run on MACs tends to be the weak spots. But in general most apple malware needs to trick the user into installing it. I'm not a MAC fanboy. I use all operating systems in my work. MACs have tended to be the most reliable and safe in this regard. Most recent actual virus activity on apple computers has been through java exploits.

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