Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Worms Businesses OS X Operating Systems Security Apple

Mac Worm Author Gets Death Threats 244

Posted by kdawson
from the stranger-and-stranger dept.
StonyandCher write(s) to spread news about the strange story of the reported Apple OS X worm, which is growing stranger by the day. The blog of the researcher who claimed to have created the malware reportedly received death threats. The blog was then hijacked, according to the researcher, who calls him/herself InfoSec Sellout. InfoSec blamed David Maynor for hacking the blog. For his part, Maynor apparently unmasked himself as "LMH" and InfoSec as Jon Ramsey. The post to the Fuzzing mailing list has not been independently confirmed.
Update: 07/19 13:48 GMT by KD : David Maynor wrote in and denies that he is LMH.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mac Worm Author Gets Death Threats

Comments Filter:
  • by Ogive17 (691899) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:51AM (#19912937)
    Don't cross a mac fanboy....
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:58AM (#19912993) Homepage Journal
      Don't cross a mac fanboy....

      Amen Brother - I would never do that ;-)
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:29AM (#19913249)
      Does this mean I should end my genetic experiment to cross-pollinate a Mac fanboy with a Scientologist to produce the world's most pompous asshole?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chas (5144)
        Yep. Nature beat you to it by several decades at least.

        Life found a way.

        Now prepare to be nibbled on by velocimactors before finally getting chomped on a toilet by Lord Xenu's Applesaurus Rex.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by dintech (998802)
        Does this mean I should end my genetic experiment to cross-pollinate a Mac fanboy with a Scientologist to produce the world's most pompous asshole?

        Only if you buy your creation a Toyota Prius.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      Don't cross a mac fanboy....
      Especially don't do if you are using a Mac whereever possible like me. :)

      It really creates some real schizoid situation.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by cuzco (998069)
      You think my shirt is pink because I'm a fag?

      Hah!

      Its pink because I can't get the blood out!

    • by supun (613105) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:52AM (#19915183)
      > Don't cross a mac fanboy....

      Actually you can, just stay outside of a 1 mile radius of all Starbucks and you'll be safe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Divebus (860563)

      Don't cross a mac fanboy....

      This is just a new vector on securing an operating system... and it probably works really well.

  • Woohoo!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:51AM (#19912943) Homepage Journal
    It's been far too long since we had a nice bit of hacker drama! Now, where did I put my popcorn and my MOD vs LOD t-shirt...
    • Yeah... and, considering that the worm in question can spread only on the local network, we know it's a person close to the virus writer.

      Good chances for actually carrying out the threat, a small number of people to investigate... can be interesting. Grab some popcorn for me too?
  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:52AM (#19912947)
    He would have been better off picking a weaker target such Islam. You don't want to mess with those Mac zealots.
  • Now we know (Score:5, Funny)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:52AM (#19912949)
    Now we know the real reason there is less malware for the Macintosh.
  • by mshmgi (710435) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:53AM (#19912953) Homepage

    Well, that's one way to keep an OS safe, I guess. Just think how secure Windows would be if Bill Gates focused his vast resources on killing every malware author. Ballmer would probably do the dirty work cheap ... just for the thrill of it all.

    Why, Bill might even have a few million bucks left over at the end of the day.

    • Ballmer would probably do the dirty work cheap ... just for the thrill of it all.
      No doubt by throwing chairs at them, even!
      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday July 19, 2007 @01:10PM (#19916465)

        Police find suspected malware author Fucking Killed(TM) in his apartment

        Dateline: Redmond, WA

        Police today are baffled by the scene discovered in the home of Grigori Kuznetsov, a young programmer from the former Soviet Union. The unfortunate fellow had not only been apparently murdered via blunt trauma to the head, but his chest had been ripped open and the heart removed. The only clues left at the scene were the broken remains of a chair and an "impossibly large" pool of sweat.

        When questioned, neighbors reported hearing some strange noises the night before. "It sounded almost like someone yelling 'developers! developers! developers! developers!'," Bob, who lives directly below Grigori, said. "My wife [Ms. Bob] also says she heard a weird scream, like "Yeeearrrgghhhh!" Another resident of the complex, a barber who identified himself by his nickname, "Clippy," reported seeing a bald, ape-like creature running away from the scene. "I think it was Sasquatch," Clippy said. "By the way, it looks like you're trying to investigate a murder. Can I help you with that?"

        So far, police say there are no real leads. "From the evidence and testimony given by the witnesses," the detective in charge, Paul Allen, says, "it seems like some kind of supernatural vicious beast attacked the poor guy, beat him to death with a chair, and then ripped his heart out and ate it. But of course, that's impossible."

        Readers with any information or leads should contact the Redmond police department.

    • by Sparks23 (412116) * on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:34PM (#19915789)
      Ballmer would probably do the dirty work cheap ... just for the thrill of it all.

      It's all about the assassins, assassins, assassins, assassins, assassins, assassins, assassins... assassins, assassins, assassins...
  • by MarcoG42 (1087205) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @08:53AM (#19912955) Homepage
    Wasn't there some stories about religious zealots threating professors who taught evolution recently? It all begins to make sense now...
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:00AM (#19913009)
    More likely it is another publicity stunt, to make their work to look more "legitimate", to get more people to side with them (the "I may not agree with what you say, but would defend to death your right to say it" crowd), to generalize even more the feeling that Mac users are dangerous fanboys disconnected with the reality, etc.

    The only thing easier than to make threats to people on the Internet is to fake threats to oneself on the Internet. We got plenty of these drama queens in the nineties, hopefully this is not a trend that will come back.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032)
      I agree, it smells like BS to me. None of the claims have been substantiated, neither the alleged worm itself, nor the alleged threats.

      -jcr

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2007 @10:01AM (#19913677)
        "None of the claims have been substantiated, neither the alleged worm itself, nor the alleged threats."

        You mean like all of Maynor's other allegations?

        I've posted to his blog a few times, especially the ones where he is claiming that he is being censored (??? I can't say what I'm saying on my own blog because they won't allow me to say what I'm now saying, but I'm saying it, but I'm really not because of a world conspiracy) -- but surprisingly, my comments never show. Only the comments where others are obviously blowing him get through. Of course, I'm not going to claim censorship -- thats bullshit -- only a government can censor, where as you have every right to disallow contrary thought in your own living room.

        But everything about this man smacks of sensationalism. For instance:

        "It was a great experiment to see how the industry could handle some honesty, which they can't. They are quick to attack the credibility of others in order to hide their own flaws."

        What? Someone announces a flaw, but says they won't talk about it, hints that they will sell it to the highest bidder, and the company doesn't want to deal with you??? And then when they don't bite, claim that you were actually pre-compensated for writing this virus from someone else (now who would gain from this? Spammers? Scam Artists? Mafia? Microsoft? The only ones that would gain are the scum of the earth and he has no problem claiming to take money from them).

        And finally:

        "I made up the LMH identity for bashing Apple and appearing on the media while I was preparing for launching Errata Security with Robert. Since my credibility was severely damaged after the wireless driver exploit, I needed a sock puppet."

        Admitting that he was manipulating the media, and has an ulterior motive to bash Apple, solely for bashing Apple. The guy lied in the first apple hack, he manipulated the media, worse yet -- academic dishonesty through his publication of the 'hack' at a conference with a setup that was guaranteed to work, even when they later claimed even if it did work, it would take a few hundred attempts to even crash a machine, and far more than that to weaponize it (i.e., nearly impossible).

        AND HE ACTS SHOCKED THAT HIS CREDIBILITY IS DAMAGED AND BLAMES 'FANBOYS' WHO HE PREVIOUSLY STATED HE WANTED TO STICK CIGARETTES IN THE EYES OF AS THE REASON FOR HIS LACKING CRED.

        What an idiot. I hate to give the man any more air time, but I hope this is the final straw. From what I understand, he use to be a pretty good security analyst...now its just all about the publicity and not actually doing any real work. I wish there was some real and credible persons working to find holes in OS X. I use it as my daily computer. I know one member of my team found one hole a few years ago and reported it to one of the developers and it was fixed quickly (and they were properly credited for it). I know there are holes in the system, like any system, and they need to be found. And unfortunately, the only ones working on finding anything are more interested in the sensationalism than anything else.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by blowdart (31458)
        However if it is true it's not the first time people poking fun at the Mac have had death threats; Overclockers had them [wired.com] when they pretended to put an Intel/Windows motherboard/system inside a G5 case and Maynor reported death threats [zdnet.com] after his Wifi debacle.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ilgaz (86384) *

          However if it is true it's not the first time people poking fun at the Mac have had death threats; Overclockers had them [wired.com] when they pretended to put an Intel/Windows motherboard/system inside a G5 case and Maynor reported death threats [zdnet.com] after his Wifi debacle.

          So Maynor got death threats when he blurbed about Wifi exploit (!) but not when they tried to harm Apple USERS (not company, not lusers, real average users) in every possible way for entire month? One of their first evil (!) security issue findings was VLC, yes the open source media player with millions of users including Mac. They announced it publicly instead of fixing the damn source code sitting there and didn't get a "death threat" from one user?

          I am speaking about MOAB and their lame attacks even inc

          • by Divebus (860563)

            So Maynor got death threats when he blurbed about Wifi exploit (!) but not...

            You do realize that putting (!) in something means you're mooning them, yes?

    • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:55AM (#19913575)

      The problem here is that the death threats need to be translated from blog-speak to their real world equivalents.

      Blog-speak: thats dumb
      Translation: I respectfully disagree on that point.

      Blog-speak: ur a fuckin loser noob go eat shit
      Translation: I strongly disagree, and hold you in low esteem.

      Blog-speak: im gonna come find ur house and chainsaw you into pieces and feed u 2 my dawg
      Translation: I find your opinions reprehensible and I see no value in continuing this discussion.

      I don't know if it is even possible to express a legitimate death threat in blog-speak. Perhaps with punctuation it could be done.

      • by ipjohnson (580042)
        I think you include pictures taken from inside there house .... or something along those lines .....
        • I think you include pictures taken from inside there house .... or something along those lines .....

          Just check to see if the Google van has gone by their house recently, no need to even leave your desk.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      More likely it is another publicity stunt, to make their work to look more "legitimate", to get more people to side with them (the "I may not agree with what you say, but would defend to death your right to say it" crowd), to generalize even more the feeling that Mac users are dangerous fanboys disconnected with the reality, etc.

      The only thing easier than to make threats to people on the Internet is to fake threats to oneself on the Internet. We got plenty of these drama queens in the nineties, hopefully th

    • Indeed. When I read that David Maynor was involved, my bullshit-o-meter started ringing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bjohnson (3225)
        Jesus, you have a tough bullshit meter! Where did you get it? When I heard of Maynor's connection, my bullshit meter just exploded in a bright flash, very loud BANG! and puff of acrid smoke...
  • Unacceptable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ngarrang (1023425) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:02AM (#19913021) Journal
    It is as if the fanatics actually believed their OS was so secure it had no security holes.
  • fuzzing] The Truth (Score:5, Informative)

    by djupedal (584558) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:03AM (#19913039)
    [fuzzing] The truth [linuxbox.org] Lance M. Havok:
    >br> "Since the cover is becoming more difficult to maintain, I've decided to stop this. It simply can't stand anymore and I can't let this harm my company and its customers.
    I am David Maynor. I made up the LMH identity for bashing Apple and appearing on the media while I was preparing for launching Errata Security with Robert. Since my credibility was severely damaged after the wireless driver exploit, I needed a sock puppet. The idea of LMH and the Month of Apple Bugs came a while after I resigned from SecureWorks."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shawnce (146129)
      [blockquote]bca2fee517ff50ddd01bb7d6ed9c3043
      The above MD5 hash of a text file should serve as a proof in case
      someone attempts to deny the statements of this message.[/blockquote]

      Anyone care to tell me how expects the above to prove the email message you quoted is legit? If it is only a text file that David Maynor has how are we supposed to know what it is? If it is a text file that we can get at then how is the MD5 hash of it useful?
      • by djupedal (584558)
        If you have the hash, how many people can supply the text file that matches? Only the author of the message...thus closing the loop.
        • by shawnce (146129)
          So I have to go hunt him down and ask for the file so I can verify the hash? ...sure seems like signing the message with his own certificate might have been a better way to prove who authored it. I mean he is a security researcher and owner of company. He should be able to get a trusted cert for when signing, etc..
  • Hi

    I'm ____, I wrote that worm that messed up your computer costing you tons of time an agravation. Here's my email if you want to thank me.
    --------------
    although in this case it more like "I may have written a worm the exploits a now patched problem".

    Threats are inappropriate but seriously, what did he think would happen?
  • by 4play (720611)
    They just implied not to release the worm or he would be dealt with using their iphones like they did at duke
  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:22AM (#19913189)
    Wait, so someone who claims, without providing proof, that they found/created a vulnerability in an operating system is now claiming to have received death threats and claiming that their blog was hacked? Again, without providing any real proof?

    Uh, yeah. Count me skeptical.

    Can anyone say "attention whore."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by shentzu (457013)
      yet you will notice that all the slashdoters assume he really has a virus and assume he really had threats made against him.

      hating Apple is like believing in god, apparently. no amount of proof for it needed, no amount of proof against is enough....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        yet you will notice that all the slashdoters assume he really has a virus and assume he really had threats made against him.

        Back in 1999 Slashdot, Userfriendly, and several other sites were complicit in an April Fools joke. If I remember right, they claimed that some large entity had threatened Userfriendly and friends with legal action to shut them down for some unclear reason. The whole thing lacked any real information - but it had lots of emotional slight-of-hand. Various parts of the community were outraged - to include many Slashdot posters. These same people were even more outraged when it was announced that they ha

    • Wait, so someone who claims, without providing proof, that they found/created a vulnerability in an operating system is now claiming to have received death threats and claiming that their blog was hacked? Again, without providing any real proof?

      Uh, yeah. Count me skeptical.

      Can anyone say "attention whore."
      "Cynical" is more like it..... But you are not the only one...
  • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:36AM (#19913309)
    Cognitive dissonance is truly a funny thing. It's fascinating the lengths the human brain will go to in order to protect its version of reality.
  • The New Ad (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dystopian Rebel (714995) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @09:44AM (#19913419) Journal
    PC: Hi, I'm a PC.

    Mac: And I'm a Mac. PC, who are all those people smacking you in the head and rifling your pockets?

    PC: [Sigh] Those are viruses and worms. Even though I scream "DENY! DENY!" as loudly as I can, they keep smacking me in the head and rifling my pockets. You know how it is.

    Mac: Actually, I don't. You see, with a Mac...

    [One of the worms moves sinisterly toward the Mac. A man in a black suit appears suddenly from the right and collars the worm, shaking it roughly.]

    Man In Black Suit: Listen, woim. If you takes one more step taword da Mac kid, I'm gonna whack you and yer whole family, see?

    Worm: Uh... uh... I'm just a proof of concept.

    MIBS: Concept shmoncept. Not only will I whack you and yer family, I'm going to hack yer blog so bad it'll look like AintItCool.com.

    Worm: [panics, runs away, screaming]

    MIBS: [Claps hands as though rubbing dirt off. As he leaves to the right, Mac slips him a small paper sack.] Tanks, kid.

    Mac: As I was saying, with a Mac, there are no viruses.

  • Sheesh.

    Now we have unverified claims of death threats to add credibility to unverified claims of worms attacking a deep flaw in mDNSresponder... a flaw so subtle that Apple wouldn't be able to fix it without the help of said anonymous researcher who's allegedly received death threats over it.

    Now this could all be true, but then SCO could really have thousands of lines of Linux code copied from UNIX they're still hiding so they can bring it out in a dramatic eleventh-hour release and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

    I don't doubt that there's flaws in mDNSresponder. I don't doubt that you could write a worm to exploit them. I don't doubt that Apple is capable of fixing one symptom of a flaw rather than the cause... they've done it before. But there's nothing new here... schemes like Rendozvous/Bonjour/Zeroconf and the superficially similar "Universal Plug and Play" in Windows are a compelling target for potential attacks and have been criticized in the past. They're not needed for the normal operation of the system, and should be disabled unless you actually know you need them and are on a known secure LAN ... and recipes and utilities for disabling both have been around for years.

    But there is no way that any legitimate security professional would proceed in the manner that the people alleged to be involved in have been behaving over the past several months. The whole presentation of this affair seems almost designed to discredit the security community in the public eye.

    Notify Apple, then release the details. There's no other ethical course of action.
  • sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tvon (169105)
    This whole thing is getting a lot of coverage for what basically amounts to "random dude claims OSX vulnerability, produces no evidence to substantiate claim".

    The responses are entertaining to read though. Hoards of morons attacking the Mac platform and users without any evidence that there is anything actually wrong. Lots of straw man arguments (nobody with half a brain ever said OSX was impervious to security issues), lots of hate... so much hate.

    Like a bunch of catty middle school girls...
  • David Maynor != LMH (Score:3, Informative)

    by OriginalArlen (726444) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @10:01AM (#19913671)
    David Maynor just posted this to Full Disclosure; the post claiming to be from him and asserting that he's LMH was spoofed [blogspot.com]. Who'd a-thunk it, mail spoofing on a security list... DUH!
  • This is the perfect antivirus strategy. You write a virus, we go to your house and shoot you in the face. No need for security patches any longer.
  • I would like to be there to help out during the lynching.
  • Let me see if I have this straight:

    -A guy anonymously says he found an exploitable hole in mDNSResponder (isn't this open source?) under MacOS X.
    -He says he's still working on it and refuses to disclose himself or his findings
    -A few idiot trolls post about busting a cap in his head or some such and now he's in hiding.

    Jeez. You'd think he posted a pro-Microsoft or anti-Linux article on Slashdot or something.

    I think it would be funny if he had the exloit on his website and all the Apple fanbois who posted fro
    • This is highly offtopic, and I apologize in advance, but can we all make an agreement here and now?
      I want everyone to agree to never again say : fanboi, micro$oft, m$, i(anything), crApple, etc?
      It's not funny, and it makes you look like a moron. Not to mention diluting any point you were going for...
      • Yes, those terms are stupid and annoying--but fanboy/fanboi is much easier and shorter to type than "myopic automatous sycophantic rabid weasel."

        Good luck in your endeavor to stamp out those unfortunate strings from the Slashdot lexicon. I'll try to use them sparingly--unless I really mean "myopic automatous sycophantic rabid weasel."
  • by Frankie70 (803801) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:12PM (#19915417)
    Apple betters Microsoft once more.

    Dispatch Tuesday is so much cooler than Patch Tuesday.

    From the dictionary [thefreedictionary.com]
    Dispatch == To put to death summarily.

  • I find it hard to get concerned about a person who makes unsupported claims of authoring a Mac worm followed up by unsupported claims of death threats that I expect are meant to support his unsupported claims of authoring a Mac worm.

    See where I'm going with this?
  • I don't know where you rabid fanboys originated. As a mac user, I tend to think of myself and fellow Apple aficionados as pretty lay back and easy going. We haven't given up our chances of having sex just to install and use Linux nor are we as well used as the Microsofties are after being bent over again and again. We are happy bunch, but, I suppose a few lunatics got a little defensive when it appear that someone was actively looking to rain on our sunny world. Lunatics. You have nothing to fear. The worm
  • Don't blame apple fans. Look, if Windows had 95% of the market share you'd be reading about this kind of thing all the ti...

    oh damn.
  • by Plutonite (999141) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @10:03PM (#19922275)
    Cancel or Allow?

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

Working...