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Discovered: February 17, 2006
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:51:24 PM
Also Known As: Inqtana.A [Panda], OSX/Inqtana-A [Sophos], OSX/Inqtana.a [McAfee], Inqtana.A [F-Secure], OSX_INQTANA.A [Trend], Worm.OSX.Inqtana.a [Kaspersky]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Mac

OSX.Inqtana.A is a proof of concept worm that runs on Macintosh OS X and spreads by exploiting a the Apple Mac OS X BlueTooth Directory Traversal Vulnerability (as described in Bugtraq ID 13491 ).

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version February 18, 2006
  • Latest Rapid Release version May 31, 2016 revision 036
  • Initial Daily Certified version February 17, 2006
  • Latest Daily Certified version June 01, 2016 revision 005
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date February 22, 2006

Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Technical Description

The worm spreads to computers using three OBEX Push requests. If the user accepts these requests, OSX.Inqtana.A performs the following actions:

  1. Creates the following files:

    • w0rm-support.tgz
    • com.openbundle.plist
    • com.pwned.plist

  2. Exploits the Apple Mac OS X BlueTooth Directory Traversal Vulnerability (as described in Bugtraq ID 13491) to create the following files:

    • /Users/w0rm-support.tgz
    • /Users/InqTest.class
    • /Users/com.openbundle.plist
    • /Users/com.pwned.plist
    • /Users/libavetanaBT.jnilib

  3. Creates the following folders, adding nonmalicious files used to run the worm:

    • /Users/javax
    • /Users/de

  4. Creates the following two files, so that it starts when the Mac OS X starts:

    • /Users/[USER NAME]/Library/LaunchAgents/com.pwned.plist
    • /Users/[USER NAME]/Library/LaunchAgents/com.openbundle.plist

  5. Searches for other Bluetooth-enabled devices to accept OBEX Push requests when the computer is restarted. If found, the worm attempts to send itself to the remote computer.

    Note: The worm attempts to spread by using a time limited demo version of the Avetana library, which is bound to a bluetooth address. As a result of this the worm may not be able to spread successfully.


Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.


Delete the following files:

    • /Users/w0rm-support.tgz
    • /Users/InqTest.class
    • /Users/com.openbundle.plist
    • /Users/com.pwned.plist
    • /Users/libavetanaBT.jnilib
    • /Users/[USER NAME]/Library/LaunchAgents/com.pwned.plist
    • /Users/[USER NAME]/Library/LaunchAgents/com.openbundle.plist

  1. Delete the following folders:

    • /Users/javax
    • /Users/de

Writeup By: Candid Wueest