Apple quietly updated a security feature added to Mac OS X last year to protect against a backdoor Trojan known as HellRTS.
Apple has quietly slipped an update to the anti-malware security protections in its Mac OS X operating system.
Earlier this week, Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.4
the latest edition of Snow Leopard - with fixes for more than two dozen
security holes. In that release, Apple added a malware signature for a
Trojan known as HellRTS
to the XProtect.plist file in the Mac.
XProtect was added
the operating system last year. At the time, however, Apple only
included detection for two known Mac Trojans. According to Sophos
Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley, the recent update adds
protection for a Trojan that has been distributed by attackers under
the guise of iPhoto, the photo application that ships on Mac computers.
"If you did get infected by this malware then hackers would be able
to send spam email from your Mac, take screenshots of what you are
doing, access your files and clipboard and much more," he blogged
"Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats
can run on their computers...There's a lot less malicious software for
Mac computers than Windows PCs, of course, but the fact that so many
Mac owners don't take security seriously enough, and haven't bothered
installing an antivirus, might mean they are a soft target for hackers
in the future," Cluley added.
The Mac update that included the additional protection for XProtect
also shipped with a vulnerable version of Adobe Flash Player
(10.0.45.2). Adobe Systems is advising Mac
who downloaded the update to visit their site and download the latest
version of Flash, 10.1.53.64. Those who already have the most current
version of Flash installed do not appear to be downgraded by the
Apple update, noted Wendy Poland, security response program manager at