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Author Topic: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )  (Read 2073 times)

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Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« on: 27. September 2009., 22:26:40 »

A network of Russian malware writers and spammers paid hackers 43 cents for each Mac machine they infected with bogus video software, a sign that Macs have become attack targets, a security researcher said yesterday.

In a presentation last week at the Virus Bulletin 2009 security conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Sophos researcher Dmitry Samosseiko discussed his investigation of the Russian "Partnerka," a tangled collection of Web affiliates who rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from spam and malware, most of the former related to phony drug sites, and much of the latter targeting Windows users with fake security software, or "scareware."

But Samosseiko also said he had uncovered affiliates, which he dubbed "codec-partnerka," that aim for Macs. "Mac users are not immune to the scareware threat," said Samosseiko in the research paper he released at the conference to accompany his presentation. "In fact, there are 'codec-partnerka' dedicated to the sale and promotion of fake Mac software."

One example, which has since gone offline, was , said Samosseiko. "Just a few months ago it was offering [43 cents] for each install and offered various promo materials in the form of Mac OS 'video players,'" he said.

Another Sophos researcher argued that Samosseiko's evidence shows Mac users, who often dismiss security as a problem only for people running Microsoft's Windows, are increasingly at risk on the Web.

"The growing evidence of financially-motivated criminals looking at Apple Macs as well as Windows as a market for their activities, is not good news -- especially as so many Mac users currently have no anti-malware protection in place at all," said Graham Cluley , a senior technology consultant at U.K-based Sophos, in a blog entry Thursday:

Mac threats may be rare, but they do pop up from time to time. In June 2008, for example, Mac security vendor Intego warned of an active Trojan horse that exploited a vulnerability in Apple's Mac OS X. Last January, a different Trojan was found piggybacking on pirated copies of Apple's iWork '09 application suite circulating on file-sharing sites.

Mac OS X's security has been roundly criticized by vulnerability researchers , but even the most critical have acknowledged that the Mac's low market share -- it accounted for just 5% of all operating systems running machines that connected to the Internet last month -- is probably enough protection from cyber criminals for the moment.

Samosseiko's paper on Partnerka can be downloaded from Sophos' site:



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Re: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« Reply #1 on: 02. October 2009., 11:38:58 »
Antivirus software vendors in the markets should now program antiviruses for Macs..
well? understand ma bad English.


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Re: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« Reply #2 on: 06. October 2009., 14:16:44 »
I guess they find MACs as a potential target for antivirus business.


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Re: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« Reply #3 on: 07. October 2009., 22:34:55 »
The only reason that explains that Mac haven't yet a lot of viruses is that the market share of MacOS is tiny compared to the Windows' one.
If people start to use Macintoshs, be prepared to discover a not-so-secure operating system :)


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Re: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« Reply #4 on: 07. October 2009., 22:50:36 »
Mac Users are most in Europe.. Virus attack will impact business in Europe

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Re: Hackers Paid to Hijack Macs (Partnerka, codec-partnerka, )
« Reply #4 on: 07. October 2009., 22:50:36 »


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