A popular stereotype among people is that Apple Macs are primarily immune to malware. However, that is entirely incorrect. Sophisticated hackers might have been playing around, but they would have needed to cover the tracks. A mysterious piece of malware has been detected on almost 30,000 Macs. According to Ars Technica reports, security researchers Malwarebytes and red Canary discovered the Silver Sparrow.
The malware is designed to deliver an as-yet-unknown payload and has a self-destruction mechanism that removes the trails of its existence. More details are revealed in Red Canary’s blog post. The blog explains how they targeted the newer Apple Macs apart from the multiple versions of Intel. It is quite interesting as the Apple M1 computers are new, and very few vulnerabilities have been discovered.
A week ago, Patrick Wardle, the Objective-See security researcher, published a story about the first malware discovered in Apple Silicon. Now, we have two new malware detected. Thankfully, Silver Sparrow shows no indication of any damage. Apple has also revoked these binaries, says Red Canary. Theoretically speaking, the revoking of binaries only keeps you from accidentally installing the malware yourself.
In a tweet, Red Canary said, “Given all of this, Silver Sparrow is uniquely positioned to deliver a potentially impactful payload at a moment’s notice, so we wanted to share everything we know with the broader infosec community sooner rather than later.”
The idea of the damage that could have been done is not theoretical. Actual strains of this malware on Apple Macs were found in the wild. Apple’s transition from Intel to its silicon may prove harmful, say researchers. They say hackers can slip malware through the cracks.