iWorm: Apple and Reddit fix the bug controlling thousands Mac computers

The malware which enabled hackers to control 17,000 Apple computers has been shut down

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The Independent Tech

The bug that used Reddit to infiltrate and control over 17,000 mac computers around the world has been fixed, with Apple updating its anti-malware system to detect the iWorm.

With this latest update, reported by MacRumours this weekend, Apple’s XProtect has enabled OSX to identify and block three types of iWorm – A, B, and C.

Meanwhile Reddit closed both the account and the phoney Minecraft community that the hackers were using to communicate with the iWorm bug.

Last week Russian security firm Dr Web discovered the Apple-exclusive malware, which was using Reddit search and comment functions to connect infected machines to botnet servers.

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iWorm can now be blocked by Apple's XProtect

Once a connection was established, the hacker could control the device – making it perform tasks, give up private information or introduce further malware.

Botnets are usually designed to send spam emails, direct website-crashing amounts of traffic or mine for Bitcoin.

Over 17,000 Mac computers were hacked using the iWorm malware, according to Dr Web, over 1200 of which were in the UK.

The Safe Mac website claims to have found the way in which the iWorm spreads: pirated software.

The bug derives from a PirateBay user called ‘aceprog’ who offers software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Microsoft Office.

It can control 17,000 Mac computers, what is the iWorm?

The installer for these programs had reportedly been altered, and so when a user would sign with the application, the iWorm malware would immediately be installed.

There is nothing to suggest that the hackers used their growing botnet before steps were taken to squash it.

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