Apple Computer released an official statement regarding "OSX/Leap-A," a proof-of-concept piece of malware The Mac Observer reported early Thursday morning. In the statement, which was released to the Wall Street Journal, the company noted that ""Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file."
Leap-A is merely an attempt to disguise an executable program as an image in effort to trick the recipient into launching the program. Launching a program in Mac OS X requires the user to enter their password, an indicator that should clue most users into the fact that it is not what it appears to be.
Appleis statement simply asserts that fact in an effort to head off the notion that a bona fide Mac virus had hit the wild (see TMOis earlier coverage for more information). Several news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, covered Leap-A as an actual virus.
Apple also added a standard advisory to its statement: "Apple always advises Macintosh users to only accept files from vendors and Web sites that they know and trust," said the spokesperson. "We have a guide to safely handling files received from the Internet."