SAN FRANCISCO – A new computer worm targeting Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) Macintosh computers has been identified for the second time in one week, security experts said.
"We have speculated that attackers would turn their attention to other platforms, and two back-to-back examples of malicious code targeting Macintosh OS X ... illustrate this emerging trend," said Vincent Weafer, senior director at Symantec Security Response.
The latest virus follows OSX/Leap-A, which was identified last week and believed to be the first such virus targeting the Mac platform.
That worm attempts to spread via Apple's iChat instant messaging program, which is compatible with America Online's popular AIM instant messaging program.
Symantec said the latest worm attempts to use Bluetooth connections to spread by searching for other Bluetooth-using devices that will accept requests for a connection when the computer is restarted.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology used to transmit data among devices at short distances.
The worm spreads via a vulnerability in the OS X operating system called the Apple Mac OS X BlueTooth Directory Traversal Vulnerability.
If a Bluetooth connection is made, the worm attempts to send itself to those remote computers. However, the worm itself does not appear to pose an immediate threat.
"While this particular worm is not fully functional, the source code could be easily modified by a future attacker to do damage," Weafer said, adding that Mac users should install available software patches to their operating systems to prevent such attacks.
The latest worm was identified Friday. Both worms are ranked a Level 1 threat on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe, Symantec said.