PSA: A Previously Undetected Virus Infects Over 29,000 Macs Worldwide

Here's what you need to know.
by The Candy Staff   |  Feb 22, 2021
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PSA, Apple enthusiasts and Mac users: there's a new security threat you need to be wary of. A new virus has just been uncovered and it's said to have infected around 29,000 macOS devices worldwide.

The Verge reports that it was security operations and anti-malware companies Red Canary and Malwarebytes who made the discovery regarding the "sophisticated" malware, which they call the Silver Sparrow.

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In the blog post published by Red Canary, they explain that the malware is carried out using JavaScript (which, as they point out, is unusual for malware), is compatible with Apple's new M1 chip (devices that use this include the MacBook Air 2020, MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020, and the Mac Mini 2020) but also has a version that affects Macs using Intel processors, has a "global reach," a "relatively high infection rate," and must therefore be taken seriously by Mac users. Data from Malwarebytes says it has infected around 29,000 macOS devices in 153 countries, most of which are concentrated in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany.

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Red Canary also shared that they still cannot determine how the malware is infecting devices. As written in the blog post, they share, "We suspect that malicious search engine results direct victims to download the PKGs based on network connections from a victim’s browser shortly before download."

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They also have not determined the intention of the said malware or what it does when the malware is activated, but if you wish to keep an eye out for possible infection, Red Canary shares a few ways to detect the virus and other MacOS threats in their blog post.

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