The blogosphere has been abuzz with claims that the first Mac virus or trojan has been identified in the wild. It’s been reported that many users downloading iWork ’09 or Adobe Creative Suite 4 programs from less-than-legal sources (read: pirating it) got more than they bargained for.
It’s been reported through several outlets that the installer packages contain more than what they advertise. These snippets are rumored to “call home” to the programmer who created it, but it is not clear exactly what information is transmitted.
Basically, the code is a trojan, not a virus. Morgan Aldrich, Developer, Admin, and IT for Small Dog, says “a trojan is a malicious program that someone actually has to run on their computer thinking it’s something else (hence the name), but a virus uses security holes to infect someone’s computer and/or files and then further spreads itself in the same manner without any interaction from the user.” The jist here is that the trojan is not able to spread itself, and it requires a user to authorize its installation by entering an administrator password.
You are in no danger if you surf responsibly; use common sense, and do not download software illegally. To be clear, the Mac remains a virus-free platform, and right now there’s no reason to think that is going to change any time soon!