Posted by Virus Bulletin on May 9, 2011
Multi-platform Java botnet allows for remote control of webcam and microphone.
Researchers have discovered a multi-platform botnet running on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) that can potentially run on both Windows machines and on Macs.
The botnet, of which only the Windows version has been seen in the wild, installs itself on a victim's computer via an executable and will only run if the JRE is installed. The executable then downloads a number of Java libraries that allow the botherder to remotely control the computer.
Among the features of the botnet advertised on its website - which was still live earlier today - were a keylogger, the ability to talk to the victim via a microphone and the option to control and record on the victim's webcam. The developers also offer an iPhone/iPad app, enabling botherders to control their botnet while away from home.
While some of the botnet's features may sound funny at first, it is not difficult to imagine the damage this could do to the victim's computer and to their general feeling of online security.
The fact that this botnet can potentially run on Macs too is part of a growing trend of malware targeting the Mac user and should be a warning for the users of non-Windows platforms: while they might be less likely to become the victim of malware, they are far from immune from it.