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Mac OS X Machines Roped Into Jnanabot Network

Mac OS X Machines Roped Into Jnanabot Network

Symantec's figures, gathered in December, show Mac OS X forming 16 per cent of the botnet.

Security specialist Symantec has released an analysis of the cross-platform Jnanabot worm, revealing that around 16 per cent of infections are found on Mac OS X machines.

The figures, which Symantec released earlier this week, analysed the infected machines that made up the Jnanabot botnet in December 2010, and came to a somewhat surprising conclusion.

While the vast majority of machines infected by the Java-based Jnanabot worm and forming the botnet were Windows-based, 16 per cent of the network was made up of machines running Apple's Mac OS X - a platform that is often claimed to be immune to malware.

Because Jnanabot is written in Java and distributed as an executable Java Archive, it's effectively a cross-platform worm that can infect any system with a suitable Java Virtual Machine installed. This enables it to spread across both Windows and Mac machines, unlike traditional worms written for a specific target platform.

However, an interesting omission from the list of infected operating systems is Linux. Despite sharing several security designs with the BSD-based Mac OS X platform, the open-source operating system is immune to the ravages of Jnanabot. Although the worm will run in the Java Virtual Machine on a Linux machine, it's unable to work its way into the system and fails to survive a reboot.

While fans of the platform will still maintain that Mac OS X is significantly more secure than Windows, despite a proclamation from Apple in 2008 recommending that all Mac users run anti-virus software, it appears that it's perhaps not as immune to infection as commonly thought.

Are you surprised to see such a high proportion of Mac machines making up the Jnanabot botnet, or is that to be expected when users have been conditioned into thinking they're immune? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

23 Comments

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leexgx 21st January 2011, 13:16 Quote
if its 16% does that mean all macs have this bot running on it :)
RichCreedy 21st January 2011, 13:24 Quote
i'm not suprised at all, as a lot of mac users still believe they are immune from malware, and don't run any form of antivirus.

i do educate my customers in such matters though :-) wether they listen is upto them though.
Sheiken 21st January 2011, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leexgx
if its 16% does that mean all macs have this bot running on it :)

It means that 16% percent of all INFECTED systems are running os x.

That does not translate to all os x systems or 16% of all os x systems.
Snips 21st January 2011, 13:35 Quote
It's just the users who still believe it to be completely secure.

Doesn't matter which OS you use, you should have the very minimum of free software like AVG or Security Essentials, whatever you choose it's better than nothing.
DriftCarl 21st January 2011, 13:43 Quote
what % of the worlds computers are running OSX? because if it is less than 16% then surely a greater persentage of OSX machines have this virus than windows machines.
Repo 21st January 2011, 14:02 Quote
It's not impossible that a higher percentage of Mac users than Windows users will be infected as they think they are immune to infection. that doesn't mean that there arn't an awful lot of dumb Windows users with rubbish or out of date internet security software though!
Showerhead 21st January 2011, 14:07 Quote
Graph just shows how much of a security liability XP was with 3/4 of all infections.
Sheiken 21st January 2011, 14:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
what % of the worlds computers are running OSX? because if it is less than 16% then surely a greater persentage of OSX machines have this virus than windows machines.

It is the percentage of total systems infected with the bot! It doesnt mean that 16% of osx systems are infected.
Nor 38% of all xp systems.

Geez read the article....
Almightyrastus 21st January 2011, 14:20 Quote
Apple, It just works......... for everyone else ;)
Spuzzell 21st January 2011, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheiken
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
what % of the worlds computers are running OSX? because if it is less than 16% then surely a greater persentage of OSX machines have this virus than windows machines.

It is the percentage of total systems infected with the bot! It doesnt mean that 16% of osx systems are infected.
Nor 38% of all xp systems.

Geez read the article....

If 16% of infections are Apple machines yet only 5% of the worlds machines are Apple then the % of infection for OSx is higher than for Windows.

Is what Drifcar was saying. So. Er. Geez read the post....?
dactone 21st January 2011, 16:11 Quote
they didnt test every single apple machine in the world for this worm. 16 percent of what they TESTED in december had the worm . its not rocket science.
Guinevere 21st January 2011, 16:13 Quote
Oh come on guys. Let's look at the facts:

Jnanabot is a Trojan, not a "worm" or "virus". This means it requires a user to install it and cannot self replicate. IE it cannot infect other machines, the most any trojan can do is try and trick other users into installing copies of it (IE "Click here to install this cool app" type spam.)

So it only gets installed when someone is dumb enough to install it... and doesn't have AV installed to say "Don't do that you dumb b*tch"

So the numbers don't give any indication to the most secure platform, but to the best protected users. Many OSX users don't have any anti-virus software (a mistake in my opinion), where a higher percentage of PC users do due to the greater risks of those machines.

You could say this proves that mac owners are statistically more dumb... but again not necessarily the case. More that if you've got someone who's really not got a clue when it comes to computers and computer security. Give them a mac - they'll be better off and much less likely to end up with a computer full of smiley central popups and adverts for dubious stuff.

I've not had a virus in over a decade on either my PC or my MAC. Why? Because I don't open sh*tty apps.
schmidtbag 21st January 2011, 16:50 Quote
woohoo i'm glad i'm a linux user. however, it makes me question if free-bsd could get infected.

fyi, altho linux is unix-like and osx is based on bsd (a variant of unix), mac is so heavily modified that it isn't really similar to bsd at all. you can compare this to michael jackson - he was originally a black man but had so much plastic surgery that he became white and almost feminine looking.
dactone 21st January 2011, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
woohoo i'm glad i'm a linux user. however, it makes me question if free-bsd could get infected.

fyi, altho linux is unix-like and osx is based on bsd (a variant of unix), mac is so heavily modified that it isn't really similar to bsd at all. you can compare this to michael jackson - he was originally a black man but had so much plastic surgery that he became white and almost feminine looking.

michael jackson did not have plastic surgery to become white he had vitiligo universalis get a facts right.
Stewb 21st January 2011, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheiken
It is the percentage of total systems infected with the bot! It doesnt mean that 16% of osx systems are infected.
Nor 38% of all xp systems.

Geez read the article....

I think you failed at reading his post actually.

What he said was reasonable, if these figures do not correspond to the usage share of operating systems then that means certain operating systems are more likely to have the trojan.

Figures from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems
Note though its web-clients so not directly computers (but you need the internet to get this trojan so the point is probably moot). Also there are other web OSs now (e.g. iOS and blackberry).

Windows total: 88%
OSX Total: 7%

The OSX total of infections is 16% and Windows share is 84%. That does very roughly show that an OSX computer is more likely to be infected than a windows.

Interestingly, Vista and higher accounts for about 40% of OSs now, but only 9% of infections.
schmidtbag 21st January 2011, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dactone
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
woohoo i'm glad i'm a linux user. however, it makes me question if free-bsd could get infected.

fyi, altho linux is unix-like and osx is based on bsd (a variant of unix), mac is so heavily modified that it isn't really similar to bsd at all. you can compare this to michael jackson - he was originally a black man but had so much plastic surgery that he became white and almost feminine looking.

michael jackson did not have plastic surgery to become white he had vitiligo universalis get a facts right.

i'm not saying he had plastic surgery so he could become white, what i'm saying is he had so many physical changes that it resulted in him being white.

regardless, thats besides the point
Snips 21st January 2011, 19:15 Quote
Does anyone else remember Michael Jackson when he was just a Paedophile? Great music before mind you. Off the wall, Thriller are just classics but the rest went down hill coincidently when he started fiddlin' about.

Yes I know it was way off topic and had no link whatsoever with everything else but the last few posts made me think of that. Sorry, if I offend anyone.

On topic, is it good that Windows 7 doesn't get a mention or is that included in Vista or Higher?
dactone 21st January 2011, 19:34 Quote
because win7 is bad ass!
jrs77 21st January 2011, 20:15 Quote
Symantec want's to sell their AV-software to Apple-users and heavily tweaked the numbers. There's no other sources that can confirm this findings and all the current news you can find are based on these Smantec-numbers allthough all other big AV-software-companies making products for MacOS aswell, like Avast, Clam, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Sophos, etc, etc...

I's called viral marketing.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 22nd January 2011, 08:49 Quote
I think it's the Illuminati's plan to have all Mac users believe that Mac's don't get viruses and Malware so the Illuminati can cypher information from Mac users.

Macs were never immuned they just were limited in abilities so they couldn't run OS and a Virus at the same time. LOL
Bauul 23rd January 2011, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheiken
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
what % of the worlds computers are running OSX? because if it is less than 16% then surely a greater persentage of OSX machines have this virus than windows machines.

It is the percentage of total systems infected with the bot! It doesnt mean that 16% of osx systems are infected.
Nor 38% of all xp systems.

Geez read the article....


It still amazes me how simple stats can get so badly lost in translation. Lies, damned lies and statistics, as they say.
Edge102030 23rd January 2011, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
I think it's the Illuminati's plan to have all Mac users believe that Mac's don't get viruses and Malware so the Illuminati can cypher information from Mac users.

Macs were never immuned they just were limited in abilities so they couldn't run OS and a Virus at the same time. LOL

Hilarious...
Snips 24th January 2011, 09:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dactone
because win7 is bad ass!

Damn straight!
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