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Malware being distributed as free Snow Leopard upgrade

A number of Web sites have sprung up advertising free copies of Apple's new Snow Leopard operating system (OS X 10.6). These sites are actually downloading the Macintosh DNSchanger malware, disguised as phony copies of Snow Leopard. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it is.

Macintosh advisory: New strain of the OSX.DNSchanger malware

One of the nice things about the Mac is the relative scarcity of serious malware threats compared to Windows. That doesn't mean, however, that they don't exist.

The most significant of these threats is the OSX.DNSchanger, also known as OSX.RSplug, OSX.RSplugin, or OSX/Zlob, malware. While it can not infect your computer unless you choose to install it, there are Web sites which attempt to trick you into installing it by disguising it as a phony movie player update that you need in order to watch movies on the Internet.

These malicious sites will present you with a fake movie window and show a phony notification that you are missing a software update. They will then automatically download a .dmg file which will try to run an installer. You are not infected if you do not run the installer and type your Administrator password.

The newest variant of this malware downloads from Web sites with fake movie player controls that look like this:

These sites will try to download files with names such as "MacActiveVideo.dmg", "DivXInstaller.dmg", or "install.pkg". The files will download automatically even if you do not click anything on the hostile page.

Do not run the installer or type your administrator password. Keep in mind that many, but not all, of the sites which spread this malware masquerade as porn sites; there are also sites which claim to have videos on everything from cooking to building model helicopters which will try to infect you.

If you feel you may have inadvertently installed this malware, you can download a free DNSchanger removal program from SecureMac.