Threat Explorer

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20 March 2004
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
MAC.Amphimix, MP3Virus.Gen [Intego], MAC_MP3CONCEPT.A [Trend]
Systems Affected:

MP3Concept is a proof-of-concept Trojan horse that is targeted at the Mac OS X platform. As this is written, this threat has not been reported "in the wild."

The proof-of-concept program does not contain any malicious payload, such as viral code, ability to email itself, or perform destructive functions like deleting files. This program only contains code to display a message and play a .mp3 file of a man laughing.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 09 April 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 09 April 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version 28 September 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

The MP3Concept file will appear to be an ordinary .mp3 file and has a standard .mp3 icon.

If you run the file, it will do the following:
  1. Displays the message:

    Yep, this is an application (So what is your iTunes playing right now?)

  2. Launches iTunes and plays the mp3 file, which is the sound of a man laughing.

When iTunes directly loads the file, by using the "Add to Library..." menu command, it is registered in the library as the song "Wild Laugh."

Playing the song "Wild Laugh," only plays the music file of the man laughing and does not display the message box.

This is a picture of the message:


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.