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Mac users beware: Porn Trojans have arrived By Martin J Young
(This is the first in a weekly series of technology news and events published
every Friday in which we round up the hot topics in cyberspace and look at all
that's happening in the world of information technology.)
HUA HIN, Thailand - Following years of blissful, secure computing, Mac users
have finally been bought down to earth with a bump. Mac OS has always been
seen to be a secure
system when compared to its competitor, Windows, which needs weekly patching to
keep the nasties out.
The secure comfort zone ended this week when a Windows-based Trojan crossed
over to the Apple operating system. The malicious program is disguised as a
video decoding plugin that users must install to view free pornographic video
clips. The Trojan, which is a member of the ZLOB family that infected
Windows-based systems last year, modifies OSX's DNS server and hijacks web
requests sending the user to malicious, phishing and other pornographic
This infection of Apple software may signal a new wave of cyber attacks from
hackers and cybercrooks that see OSX as having a large enough share of the
market to be a viable target. However, unlike Windows-based viruses that
exploit security holes, this Trojan relies on tricking the user into
downloading the malicious code. Nevertheless, it serves as a stark warning to
Mac users who now need to be as vigilant as their Microsoft counterparts have
been for the past decade.
Google has been pitching its Gphone to a number of telecommunications
companies this week with Verizon Wireless being the latest. The search engine
giant will be providing the software to run on mobile phones and devices
enabling users to access Google's mobile services, like Web search, Gmail,
Youtube and Google Maps, using phones made by existing handset makers. Asian
cell phone producers HTC of Taiwan and Korean LG Electronics will be the first
two to adopt the software. The Google-powered phones are poised to hit the
market in the middle of next year.
has also jumped into the mobile pool with the announcement of the launch of
their service and handset model to the European market. The new service will
allow Skype users to make free calls and send messages using the Skype system.
The joint development from mobile firm 3 and Skype is expected to work on a
revenue-sharing basis with the "3 Skypephone" being launched in the United
Kingdom this week.
The Leopard is out of the cage, well at least according to Apple Inc. The
release of the latest version of its operating system last weekend may help
boost momentum for Mac computers over the holiday season. OSX 10.5 or "Leopard"
offers over 300 functional and entertainment features over its predecessor,
also included is more intuitive navigation, such as spring-loaded folders on
the Dock, easier widget construction and a redesign of the Finder Help menu.
Apple aficionados have claimed that Leopard "makes productivity more
pleasurable with a Mac".
is reporting a 25% increase in revenue from the division that sells Windows for
notebook and desktop PCs. About 88 million copies of its flagship operating
system Vista have now been sold, and the numbers have picked up in recent
months. The majority of consumers are happy with Vista on their new computers,
however corporations are tending to stick with what they know and are
reinstalling Windows XP. "That's completely normal behavior," International
Data Group analyst Al Gillen said, "businesses are certainly not rushing into
This is usually the norm when it comes to upgrading operating systems, though
it has put a dampener on Microsoft's hopes of getting businesses to move more
quickly to a new operating system by developing new tools for running
compatibility checks and aiding in deployment. Microsoft has held back on its
marketing campaign for Vista this holiday season but does expect support from
its partners, such as Hewlett Packard. With Vista being on 95% of the desktops
on retail shelves, the software giant expects healthy holiday sales figures.
those fed up with having to pay for Microsoft products when purchasing a new
PC, help is at hand. It comes in the form of a "gPC" which runs a modified
version of Linux with a Google flavor. The operating system called "GOS" has
integrated Google components such as Gmail, Google Documents and Maps, it also
comes with Open Office, and since it is less demanding on hardware can be
produced at a lower specification than the Windows equivalent. The 1.5GHz Via
processor, 512MB RAM