Russian Company Releases Spyware for the Mac OS X
Article by George Norman
On 04 Dec 2008
With the economic crisis and all, it seems that the Russians are giving up on their precious vodka and focusing on other activities, such as coming up with a software product that records pretty much every key you press while running your Mac OS X powered machine. So what they have here is a keylogger, which in essence is a form of spyware, no matter how you dress it.

The company in question is called ProteMac (an abbreviated for of “Protect your Mac”, the company’s slogan) and the software product they have put out is called KeyBag . According to the Russian development team behind the keylogger, the software’s main purpose is to prevent data loss – for example, when the power goes out, the machine shuts down, and you did not get a chance to save the long letter you were composing. With KeyBag you can easily bring back mail conversations, chat records, recently visited web pages, documents lists, and so on.

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To put it simply, if someone uses your Mac powered machine, you can use KeyBag and see what that person did – sneak a peak at the emails they sent out, find out what he chatted about online, and, drum rolls please, recover such confidential data as usernames and passwords.

This story brings to mind the whole Apple security recommendations debate that was launched recently. Just to refresh your mind, Apple posted some security recommendations back in 2007, stating that Mackies should install some form of security software on their systems. When those recommendations were moved to a different URL, the media believed they were new(s) and reported on them; the discussions grew and grew until Apple eventually took down those recommendations.

Graham Cluley from Sophos explains: “Some of the message boards and blogs are getting clogged up with Mac fans apparently using the “this wasn’t news” argument as a smokescreen from the fact that Apple *has* been reminding their customers to use anti-virus software for some time. Whether it be to protect against Mac malware, or to be a responsible member of the internet community, and stop them from passing Windows malware on to their friends and colleagues, it makes sense to protect your Mac from hackers and malware.”



Tags: Apple, Mac OS X, KeyBag, ProteMac
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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