OSX.Bella trojan discovered installing backdoors into Macs

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15 inch MacBook Pro Silver
It might be time to update your passwords again.
Photo: Apple

Security researchers have discovered a nasty bit of Mac malware similar to OSX.Dok trojan, which can bypass Apple’s GateKeeper feature.

The new bug, dubbed OSX.Bella, behaves and distributes itself in a completely different manner than OSX.Dok. But once installed, it executes a script that’s just as damaging.

Gatekeeper won’t stop this ‘major scale’ Mac malware

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The OSX/Dok malware forces you to install a bogus OS X update.
The OSX/Dok malware forces you to install a bogus OS X update.
Image: Check Point

OSX/Dok, a new strain of “major scale” malware targeting macOS users, can bypass the Gatekeeper feature that’s designed to block malicious software.

The newly identified trojan, which prevents you from doing anything on your Mac until you install a bogus software update, also goes undetected by many antivirus programs.

Mac’s malware protection still needs patching

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Hackers are now using FairPlay system itself to gain access to iOS devices.
Hackers are now using FairPlay system itself to gain access to iOS devices.
Photo: Colin / Wikimedia Commons

We all know Apple’s are much safer than Windows PCs at keeping out the malware, right?

Researcher Patrick Wardle has been trying to make sure of that for months now as he pokes holes in Apple’s current protection scheme, Gatekeeper.

In fact, he’s gotten past Apple’s latest patch to its software security system in literally five minutes.

Super-simple exploit lets malware creep onto your Mac

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It's really easy to bypass Mac's Gatekeeper.
It's really easy to bypass Mac's Gatekeeper.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Gatekeeper feature was designed to keep even the most advanced users from accidentally installing malicious software on their computers, but a super-simple exploit lets hackers sneak malware onto your Mac.

The exploit was discovered by Patrick Wardle, director of research at security firm Synack. Wardle found that the exploit is made possible thanks to a key design shortcoming in Gatekeeper that lets an attacker use a binary file already trusted by Apple to execute malicious files.

Here’s how it works:

Safely Install Non-Mac App Store Apps On Your Mac [OS X Tips]

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Gatekeeper

Another advantage of the Mac App Store, besides pausing downloads, safe uninstalls, and easy re-downloads of Mac OS X apps, is the safety of knowing that anything in the Mac App Store has been vetted by Apple.

One way your Mac makes sure you’re (relatively safe) from rogue apps is what’s called Gatekeeper. By default, this bit of software only allows you to install verified apps from the Mac App Store on your Mac. What if, however, you want to download software from a Mac developer who doesn’t distribute their software on the Mac App Store? You’ll need to bypass Gatekeeper in order to do so.

Here’s how to do that safely.

Mountain Lion Offers Dozens Of New Features For Business Users

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Many of Mountain Lion's new features are perfect for businesses, schools, and enterprises.
Many of Mountain Lion's new features are perfect for businesses, schools, and enterprises.

Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features. Some of them are dramatic and hard to miss while others are minor conveniences that don’t stand out immediately. Many of those big and small new features and improvements have a lot of appeal for business users.

Here’s a list of the many new features in Mountain Lion that can help professionals in almost any industry work smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively.

Apple’s iCloud and Gatekeeper Make Businesses Choose One Security Risk Over Another

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Mountain Lion's consumer security and cloud features conflict in schools and workplaces.
Mountain Lion's consumer security and cloud features conflict in schools and workplaces.

In putting together the various features of Mountain Lion, Apple may end up encouraging business and enterprise customers to actually make their Macs less secure instead of ratcheting up security as some key Mountain Lion capabilities are intended to do.

There are a handful of technologies involved, but they center around iCloud and Apple’s requirement that apps sold in the Mac App Store support Apple’s application sandboxing technique.