Mac Trojan Masked as Game Deletes a File for Every Alien Killed

Symantec has discovered a new threat targeting users of Mac OS X

By on November 4th, 2009 07:51 GMT
Security expert Symantec has discovered what it refers to as an OSX.Loosemaque threat cleverly disguised as a classic video and targeting unsuspecting Mac users. Trojan.Loosemaque is designed to look like a Space Invaders/Galaga style game that deletes a file from your home directory, for every alien ship you destroy.

“[...] A Mac game performing malicious activities? That’s something relatively new,” Ben Nahorney writes on the Symantec blog. “Takashi Katsuki, one of our Tokyo engineers, came across just that today. The game looks to be a throw-back to the classic Space Invaders/Galaga style of games from the early 1980s. However, what brings this game into the realm of malicious code is that for every alien ship you destroy, the game deletes a file from your home directory,” the security firm explains. Symantec has also posted a video of the new Trojan horse targeting Mac users in action.

“What’s interesting is that the author of this ‘game’ flat-out says what it does on his Web site,” the post continues to reveal. “Reading through the author’s description, it seems that he has created this game/threat as some sort [of] artistic project. The aliens are your files and there are consequences for ‘killing’ them. However, if you die, the game is supposed to delete itself. Each file of your home directory appears only once, and the author seems to suggest that not destroying any ships may end up with positive consequences.” The company says that, since the game crashes before reaching the end, the team was unable to discover if this was the case.

Symantec signals that, “There’s nothing stopping someone with more malicious intentions from modifying it slightly and then passing it on to unsuspecting users, causing significant damage to a computer.” The security firm does admit the software is “interesting in its own right.”

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