The Mac malware threat is real, say security experts.
The first virus to target Apple's Mac OS X operating system has been discovered in the wild, according to security experts.
The virus, called Leap-A, was discovered by UK antivirus company Sophos and spreads via the iChat instant messaging system. It forwards itself as a file called latestpics.tgz to contacts on the infected users' buddy list.
The virus appears to have spread after members of a Mac user forum were tricked into clicking on the file, which was posted as an external link promising screenshots of the Leopard Mac OS X 10.5.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, called this the first "real virus" for the Mac OS X platform.
He said in a statement: "Some owners of Mac computers have held the belief that Mac OS X is incapable of harbouring computer viruses but Leap-A will leave them shell-shocked, as it shows that the malware threat on Mac OS X is real."