Re: [Full-disclosure] mac trojan in-the-wild

From: Paul Schmehl <>
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] mac trojan in-the-wild

--On November 1, 2007 3:36:00 PM -1000 Peter Besenbruch <> 
> Firefox throws up a download dialog, asking what I should do
> with "prettyyoungthing.rpm," while a Javascript pop-up explains that to
> see  these great images, I need to save the file, and type "rpm -i
> prettyyoungthing.rpm," and that I need to do it as root.

There is no need to do that.  In both Macs and Gnome or KDE on Unix, if 
you try to run rpm -i (of whatever the install paradigm is on your flavor 
of OS), you'll be *prompted* for the root password, not asked to run it as 
root.  Big difference, and one that many users do not appreciate at all.

The direction computing is heading is toward ease of use and obscuration 
of details.  Given that, and the human tendency to act without thinking, 
socially engineered exploits will continue to enjoy success.  No, they 
won't be as successful as self-propagating code that takes advantage of 
flaws in OSes and applications, but as the Storm bot creators if social 
engineering can successfully build a botnet of several hundred thousand 

When an internationally recognized Ph.D psychologist can lose $3 million 
US to the 419 scam and be prepared to lose more, is it really a stretch to 
think that a fake codec trojan will make inroads on the Mac?

Paul Schmehl (
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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