Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 21 November 2014 16:39

Alert! Safari Trojan Featured

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A friend has had an annoying Safari browser based issue where clicking a link opens a separate ad tab.  This is a relatively new Trojan malware that cleverly obfuscates the most useful page on getting rid of it.


Who said Macs are not vulnerable to security attacks?  Nobody recently that’s for certain, it is true however that incidents of such attacks are far less frequent that those of us running Windows based machines.

However, I thought I would relate this recent experience:  A friend showed me her iMac Safari problem.

“Every time I click on this hyperlink, a new tab opens trying to sell me software” she said.

And sure enough, doing a search engine search and clicking on one of the resultant links not only opens the expected window, but gives focus to an unwanted tab trying to flog security orientated software.  The kind of thing we see all the time on Windows based boxes.   It does not seem to vicious in its intent, just extremely annoying.

Trying to investigate the issue online with only Safari to work with becomes a chore.  Particularly – as I soon found out – when it becomes clear this clever piece of malware hides the one page I have found that helped from the machines browser.

It was not until later on searching using another device that I found the following link:

Https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6531026

This link features the steps required to remove the malware.  This involves removing certain installed services , files and extensions (as needed).  It works perfectly but does highlight an issue Apple need to address.

Yes this particular user has had their machine infected from a site offering streaming of [illegal] media, in this case Megashare.  However, as is pointed out on the helpful page, you cannot rely on the OS X Gatekeeper functionality to warn you of the malwares installation.  In this case the developer has a valid codesigning certificate issued by Apple, meaning the software is installed without vetting by Gatekeeper.  Nice.

Be careful out there.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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