Security researchers have discovered a piece of malware called Silver Sparrow on 30,000 Mac computers, including those with Apple’s latest M1 chips.
The malware, found and recorded by Malwarebytes and Red Canary, “did not exhibit the habits that we’ve come to anticipate from the usual adware that so often targets macOS systems.”
Instead, spreading out across 153 countries, the malware is designed to deliver a payload that the researchers have yet not discovered.
It also has a system in location to self-destruct – concealing its presence completely.
As Ars Technica reports, infected computers inspect a server every hour to see if there are any new commands from harmful individuals to carry out.
When the malware is carried out, all that the researchers discovered were two messages: for computers using Intel chips, the malware displays the words “Hello World!”, while for M1 Macs it says “You did it!”
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The researchers hypothesise that these are merely placeholders for a later execution.
” We have actually found that many macOS hazards are dispersed through destructive ads as single, self-contained installers in PKG or DMG kind, masquerading as a legitimate application– such as Adobe Flash Gamer– or as updates”, the researchers describe.
Apple has currently revoked the binaries that could be mean users inadvertently install the malware.
” To me, the most notable [thing] is that it was discovered on practically 30K macOS endpoints … and these are only endpoints the MalwareBytes can see, so the number is most likely method higher,” says Patrick Wardle, a macOS security specialist, according to Ars Technica.
” That’s pretty extensive … and yet again reveals the macOS malware is ending up being ever more prevalent and commonplace, regardless of Apple’s best efforts.”
This is not the only malware discovered for the M1 Mac. Wardle likewise found the very first circumstances of it last week – a distressing indication of how quickly hazardous software is being established for Macs.
The M1 Macs were established in November in 2015, however many people erroneously believe that Macs are inherently much safer than Windows PCs.
That, regrettably, is not true. While Windows devices still dominate market share, Apple computers have grown in appeal.