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Apple Macs vulnerable to adware, warns F-Secure

Apple Mac computers could be vulnerable to adware installed by hackers using a new technique, security experts have warned

Security firm F-Secure warned that it had been sent a proof-of-concept sample of an adware program targeting Apple’s Mac OS X operating system.

In a posting on its blog, F-Secure warned, “In theory, this program could be silently installed to your user account and hooked to each application you use… and it doesn't require administrator rights to do so.”

F-Secure is not divulging the technique used, but added, “It's a feature not a bug, but let's just say that installing a System Library shouldn't be allowed without prompting the user. Especially as it only requires Copy permissions. An Admin could install this globally to all users.”

The sample received by the security firm could be used to successfully launch a Mac’s web browser, F-Secure confirmed.

The warning comes amid signs that hackers, who have traditionally focused on PCs with Windows, are increasingly turning their attention to Apple machines.

Earlier this week, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned that a publicly available exploit for a flaw in the way Mac OS X handles disc image structures could be used to carry out denial of service attacks.

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