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Monday, 08 May 2017 09:28

Handbrake site compromised, Mac version loaded with trojan

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A mirror download server for the open source video transcoder Handbrake has been compromised and the version for Mac users loaded with a remote access trojan.

An advisory at the site said anyone who had downloaded Handbrake for the Mac between 2 May and 6 May should immediately verify the SHA1/256 hash of the file before using it.

It said the trojan in question was a version of OSX.Proton that could allow theft of data from infected devices and also permit attackers to connect to infected hosts via VNC or SSH.

Mac users could check the OSX Activity Monitor to see if they were infected, the site advisory said.

"If you see a process called 'Activity_agent' in the OSX Activity Monitor application, you are infected," it said.

"For reference, if you've installed a HandBrake.dmg with the following checksums, you will also be infected: SHA1: 0935a43ca90c6c419a49e4f8f1d75e68cd70b274 or SHA256: 013623e5e50449bbdf6943549d8224a122aa6c42bd3300a1bd2b743b01ae6793."

The trojan could be removed from within a terminal, the advisory said.

"Open up the 'Terminal' application and run the following commands:

"launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/fr.handbrake.activity_agent.plist
"rm -rf ~/Library/RenderFiles/activity_agent.app
"if ~/Library/VideoFrameworks/ contains proton.zip, remove the folder

"Then remove any 'HandBrake.app' installs you may have."

Additionally, those who had been infected were asked to change all the passwords that may reside in the OSX KeyChain or any browser password stores.

The advisory said that while some sites were drawing a link between the compromise of the Handbrake download site and that of the Transmission BitTorrent client last year, there was no link.

"The HandBrake team is independent of the Tranmission developers. The projects share history in the sense that the same author created these apps but he is not part of the current HandBrake team of developers," the advisory said.

"We do not share our virtual machines with the Transmission project."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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