1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. OSX.Leap.A


Risk Level 1: Very Low

February 16, 2006
February 13, 2007 12:51:24 PM
Also Known As:
CME-4, OSX/Leap.A [Computer Associate, Leap.A [F-Secure], IM-Worm.OSX.Leap.a [Kaspersky , OSX/Leap [McAfee], OSX/Leap-A [Sophos], OSX_LEAP.A [Trend Micro]
Systems Affected:
Macintosh, Macintosh OS X

OSX.Leap.A arrives on the computer as an attachment to the following iChat Instant Message:

When the recipient clicks save, the archive file is saved as latestpics.tgz:

If the user opens the archive, the file latestpics is created:

Once OSX.Leap.A is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Displays the following message:

  2. Creates the following files:

    • /tmp/latestpics
    • /tmp/latestpics.tgz
    • /tmp/latestpics.tar.gz  
    • /tmp/hook
    • /tmp/apphook
    • /tmp/pic.gz
    • /tmp/apphook.tar
    • /tmp/pic

  3. Deletes all files from the following folder:


  4. Copies /tmp/apphook to the following folder:


    so that it runs every time an application starts.

  5. Uses Spotlight to search for the four most recently used applications this month, which do not require root permissions.

  6. Searches these files for the extended attribute oompa. If it does not find this attribute, it will infect the selected files.

  7. Infects the selected files by copying the contents of the data fork to the resource fork of the selected file, and then copying itself to the data fork of the selected file.

    Note: Due to a bug in the code, the infected files may be corrupted and may not run correctly.

  8. Creates the extended attribute oompa and sets it to loompa.

  9. Monitors all launched applications. Every time the iChat application is launched, the worm sends the file latestpics.tgz to all the iChat contacts.

    Note: Due to a bug in the code, the worm may corrupt the file so that it appears larger than it actually is, and it may not be sent 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.
Writeup By: Costin Ionescu
Summary| Technical Details| Removal

Search Threats

Search by name
Example: W32.Beagle.AG@mm
STAR Antimalware Protection Technologies
2016 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 21
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube