There's a new piece of malware out there targeting Mac users that takes advantage of the inclination to watch porn.
Intego, a Mac security software company, issued an alert Wednesday warning Mac users of the OSX.RSPlug.A malware, which it describes as a Trojan horse. Those of you familiar with mythology recognize the reference, and OSX.RSPlug.A disguises itself as a video codec that would ensure whatever porn video you just stumbled upon will play on your Mac.
But to get infected with the malware, you have to accept the invitation to download "new version of codec," open up the .dmg (disk image) file, click the installer.pkg file, and enter your administrator's password, according to Intego. Once infected, the malware changes your DNS settings to hijack Web traffic and redirect it to phishing sites or ads for porn. And you still won't get to watch the video.
If you're running Tiger, you might never realize how you were infected, but Leopard's Advanced Network preferences will at least let you recognize that the DNS servers have been changed. You'll be unable to change them back without going through a lengthy process detailed by Macworld's Rob Griffiths.
Intego coincidentally sells software that would also protect your Mac from the malware, and uses the opportunity to point that out on its security bulletin. But there's one surefire way to avoid these problems.
People, we're talking about Internet porn. There are literally millions of Web pages that cater to every imaginable interest (and a few I'm sure I can't imagine) that don't ask you to install software to view them. Most people know you should never install something on your computer unless you know exactly what it is, and who is sending it your way. But that red flag has to immediately shoot up if you're asked to install any unsolicited application or file that comes from a porn Web site. I don't care what they promised you at the other end of the process.
A little common sense goes a long way. Think about what you're doing before you do it, because no porn video is worth the risk of installing something evil on your Mac.