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Proof-of Concept Worm Infects Windows, Mac and Linux

A fresh worm is circulating through OpenOffice document that is capable of infecting Windows, Linux and Mac OS X systems, said Symantec in its Security Response advisory.

The worm called Badbunny spreads "within corrupt OpenOffice documents", according to Symantec's security response site. The worm infects users' systems if they open the badbunny.odg, an OpenOffice Draw file. Once run, it starts performing various acts depending on the operating system running on the machine. But all systems end up with an image of a woman dressed in scanty clothes with a man in a bunny's attire.

Security experts detected Badbunny in May 2007 and called it a 'proof of concept' virus i.e. it demonstrated a method to hijack a computer without actually aiming to cause it harm. The experts' assessment suggested that the virus posed no risk to any user since it was perceived as not to be propagating online.

The worm's different components are written in scripting languages like JavaScript, Python, Perl and Ruby. This helps the worm to spread across different operating systems. This is also a characteristic of Web 2.0 applications that offer the functions through online browsers, while previously the functions were possible only on desktop software.

There are viruses now moving around in Mac. Mac is not a miraculously virus-free environment, said Jan Hruska, co-founder of anti-virus firm Sophos and News.Com published this on June 11, 2007. Since the non-Mac platforms have a higher level of viruses, it gives a false feeling that in some way Apple Macs are devoid of viruses, Hruska added.

Badbunny doesn't replicate itself; it requires user interaction to activate, said Dan Blum, analyst at Burton Group. Red Herring reported this on June 11, 2007. Despite that the worm is a 'proof of concept' that indicates that non-Windows operating systems also are vulnerable to infection although it may be less often targeted, said O'Brien, senior security analyst in Sophos and Red Herring published it on June 11, 2007.

In a survey of 600 computer users by Sophos, 79% said that more malware would target Macs in future, according to Mr. O'Brien.

Related article: Proof-Of-Concept Virus Affects Mac OS X Platforms

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