Mac OS X gets first ever crimeware kit

Apple Mac

The first ever crimeware kit targeting Apple's Mac OS X has been spotted, featuring stark similarities to the popular Zeus toolset targeting Windows PCs.

The DIY kit can grab forms from Firefox running on the Apple OS, meaning passwords could be taken, alongside other information the victim types in the browser, Danish security firm CSIS reported.

Consisting of a builder and an admin panel, the kit has been advertised on a number of closed underground forums.

"The kit is being sold under the name Weyland-Yutani BOT and it is the first of its kind to hit the Mac OS platform. Apparently, a dedicated iPad and Linux release are under preparation as well," said Peter Kruse, partner and security specialist at CSIS, in a blog post.

Kruse said the kit only enabled web injects and form grabbing in Firefox at the current time, but warned both Chrome and Safari "will soon follow."

"CSIS finds this crimekit to be quite disturbing news since Mac OS previously to some degree has been spared from the increasing amount of malware which has haunted Windows-based systems for years," he added.

"This could have resulted in a false sense of security that might make Mac OS user especially vulnerable to a sudden and highly sophisticated attack."

Mac issues

Mac users can expect increasing numbers of attacks in the future as hackers look towards a wider range of platforms, according to experts.

Sophos today warned of a poisoned Google SEO attack affecting both Mac and Windows users.

A number of search terms have been targeted, including ones based around global warming and more current topics like Osama bin Laden's death, attempting to lure users into downloading a fake anti-virus program called MacDefender.

Even after infection, the user will be repeatedly bombarded with fake warning messages to encourage them to pay for non-existent threats to be removed, Sophos said.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.