Symantec Reports on Mac OS X Virus

Security firm Symantec on Friday detailed a new proof-of-concept virus that has surfaced for Mac OS X. Although the malware is not in the wild and is rated a very low risk, researchers say it highlights the fact that no operating system is immune from viruses.

Dubbed OSX.Macarena, the virus infects files in the current folder on the compromised computer. Symantec has updated its definition files to remove the virus and repair the files, although it's unlikely even one Mac OS X system has been affected as of yet.

Apple has long touted the security of its operating system as a key advantage over Windows, which has seen a constant bombardment of viruses and other malware for years. Although such proof-of-concept viruses have appeared in the past, Macs have been spared from actual real world attacks.

But that doesn't mean users should let their guard down says Swa Frantzen from the SANS Internet Storm Center. "To be honest the virus is no big deal in itself. But it is yet another warning for a lot of parties involved," said Frantzen, who noted there is no "magic shield" for the Mac.

"As we said before the ability to have viruses and all sorts of other malware is inherently available in all modern operating systems, Mac, Linux, BSD, ... included," Frantzen added. "It is a warning to get antivirus protection for those Macs, even if the shopkeeper told you you do not need it, even if there are no viruses in the wild today."

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