March 3rd 2014
Apple Mac users have been warned not to download pirated software from file-sharing peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, following diiscovery of new malware.
Researchers at online security software vendor ESET have discovered a Bitcoin-stealing malware called OSX/CoinThief being spread via 'cracked' (not paid for, when they should have been) apps, apps often obtained by over-riding Apple's standard security settings.
The OSX/CoinThief trojan infects computers running Apple's Mac OS X platform, stealing login credentials related to various Bitcoin exchanges and wallet sites by installing malicious browser add-ons.
ESET's malware experts have discovered that CoinThief is being spread via P2P file-sharing networks, disguised as cracked versions of the following popular Mac OS X applications:
– BBEdit – an OS X text editor
– Pixelmator – a graphics editor
– Angry Birds – a game where players use a slingshot to launch birds at their targets
– Delicious Library – a media cataloguing application
Security researcher Graham Cluley wrote about the threat on ESET's WeLiveSecurity blog: "The hackers behind the CoinThief trojan are trying to cash in on the current Bitcoin craze and fluctuating exchange rates by breaking into users' digital wallets. As ESET's research team has shown, Mac users who download and install pirated software from torrent sites are not only depriving developers of their rightful income, but are also putting their computers and finances at risk."
ESET and Get Safe Online strongly recommend that if you use a Mac, you should protect your computer with an up-to-date anti-virus product and resist the temptation to download cracked and pirated software.