Fresh research has shed new light on the world's first Mac OS X botnet
, which causes infected machines to mount denial of service attacks.
Symantec researchers Mario Ballano Barcena and Alfredo Pesoli said the infections are the same ones described in this blog post
In it, the blogger - a self-described designer and developer from Australia - said he awoke one morning to discover 100 per cent of his Mac laptop's resources were being consumed by a bunch of unfamiliar resources. After digging further, he found a foreign PHP script with root privileges was flooding an undisclosed website with data packets.
The botnet employs a peer-to-peer engine, encryption and a structure that allows it to dynamically adapt.
"The code indicates that, wherever possible, the author tried to use the most flexible and extendible approach when creating it - and therefore we would not be surprised to see a new, modified variant in the near future," the researchers write, according to
ZDNet's Zero Day
The botnet comes courtesy of two trojans dubbed OSX.Trojan.iServices.A and OSX.Trojan.iServices.B by Mac anti-virus provider Intego, which first documented them
in January. The malware is surreptitiously included in copies of Apple's iWork 09 productivity suite and Adobe's Photoshop CS4 that are distributed on warez sites
. Intego said three months ago more than 20,000 people had downloaded the rogue installers.