Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tens of thousands of macOS devices around the world infected with a mysterious virus


Experts are concerned that the malware behaves strangely and is difficult to find and remove.

Mac Devices at Risk / Illustration / REUTERS

Almost 30,000 Mac devices from Apple around the world are infected with malicious software of unknown purpose. Cybersecurity professionals are worried because this network threat is complex in nature.

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As IXBT reports, the Red Canary team of researchers found the threat. The new type of malware is called Silver Sparrow.

The malware is noted to be strange for a number of reasons. First of all, because until now it has remained largely inactive. Despite the fact that it exchanges data with the command and control servers once an hour, at the moment Silver Sparrow has not harmed the infected computers.

Silver Sparrow has options for both older Intel x86_64 processors and the new Apple M1. Both versions contain “third party observer binaries” which, when run, display “Hello World!” and “You did it!”

It is noted that displaying such messages on the screen is not a serious problem, but potentially malware can start performing certain functions upon request from control servers.

Red Canary emphasized that complex infrastructure leverages CDNs and AWS networks effectively, making it difficult to track and remove.

In addition, Silver Sparrow contains self-destruct mechanisms that remove all traces of malware from infected devices. This mechanism was not observed by default on infected computers, which means that it was loaded randomly based on the fulfillment of currently unknown conditions.

According to the researchers, as of February 17, 2021, 29,139 macOS devices were infected in 153 countries.

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Author:

Dmitry Zakharov

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