Until recently, Mac users have been mainly free from bad viruses and worms. This could be attributed to the fact that, as a UNIX application, Mac OS X is fairly secure, and it could also do with the fact that they have had a smaller market share. On February 14, 2006, this equation changed a bit.
A file which pretends to be a tar-zipped screenshot package from the Mac 0S 10.5, 'latestpics.tgz,' appeared on a popular site of Macintosh-related rumors. Site visitors soon found out that this was actually a worm. Although relatively harmless in that it won't actually cause any real damage to your machine, it instead will infect your list of iChat buddies. The worm on affects Macs of OS X 10.4 or later, on PowerPC-based machines - not Intel.
Companies like Symantec and Sophos have begun to respond, although there is no simple workaround to use. Apple will probably have an official security patch for this problem by now. In the meantime, just add a folder action which will alert you if an item has been added to your input management folder.
To activate this alert feature:
Right-click or Control-click on the folder.
Select "enable folder actions" if this hasn't already been enabled.
Right-click or Control-click on the folder again.
Select "attach a folder action."
Select "add new item alert script" from the Folder Action Scripts folder (default).
After completing this task, you'll receive an alert if an item attempts to insert itself into your InputManagers folder.
NOTE: This is a workaround, not an actual solution. If your antivirus program has a real fix for the problem, or if Apple does provide an official security update, we would advise you to rely on these sources rather than the above to solve the problem.
Follow the tips below in order to better secure your Mac:
1) Run AV.
2) Make your computer require a password when awakening from sleep or screen saver mode.
Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> Security >> Require Password
3) Add an admin account for software installation and other tasks. Use a non-administration account.
Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> Accounts >> Add Admin Account. Then, demote to "standard." Remember your password, log out, and log in.
4) Use a secure password that uses numbers, symbols and letters. Disable auto-login.
/Applications/Utilities/Keychain Access... click on the "change keychain password dialogue." Select a password and enter the length and type in the assistant.
5) Turn on firewall and disable unnecessary sharing.
Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> Sharing Services. Uncheck those that you don't need.
Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> Sharing >> Firewall >> Start!
About the Author
Nick Pegley is VP Marketing for All Covered: Technology Services Partner for Small Business, providing local disaster recovery consulting and technology services in 20 major U.S. metro areas.http://www.allcovered.com/learning/newsletters/previous-newsletters.asp