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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Apple mac malware

Beware!! New Windows .exe Malware Found Targeting macOS Computers

Beware!! New Windows .exe Malware Found Targeting macOS Computers
February 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
A malicious Windows EXE file can even infect your Mac computer as well. Yes, you heard me right — a .exe malware on macOS. Security researchers at antivirus firm Trend Micro have discovered a novel way hackers are using in the wild to bypass Apple's macOS security protection and infect Mac computers by deploying malicious EXE files that normally run only on Windows computers. Researchers found several samples of malicious macOS application (.dmg) masquerading as installers for popular software on a torrent site that includes an EXE application compiled with Mono framework to make it compatible with macOS. Mono is an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework that allows developers to create cross-platform .NET applications, which work across all supported platforms, including Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Usually, running any Windows executable results in error on macOS systems, and its built-in protection mechanisms such as Gatekeeper also skips scann

New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets

New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets
February 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mac users need to beware of a newly discovered piece of malware that steals their web browser cookies and credentials in an attempt to withdraw funds from their cryptocurrency exchange accounts. Dubbed CookieMiner due to its capability of stealing cookies-related to cryptocurrency exchanges, the malware has specifically been designed to target Mac users and is believed to be based on DarthMiner, another Mac malware that was detected in December last year. Uncovered by Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 security research team, CookieMiner also covertly installs coin mining software onto the infected Mac machines to secretly mine for additional cryptocurrency by consuming the targeted Mac's system resources. In the case of CookieMiner, the software is apparently geared toward mining "Koto," a lesser-known, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency which is mostly used in Japan. However, the most interesting capabilities of the new Mac malware is to steal: Both Google Chro

Warning: New Undetectable DNS Hijacking Malware Targeting Apple macOS Users

Warning: New Undetectable DNS Hijacking Malware Targeting Apple macOS Users
January 12, 2018Mohit Kumar
A security researcher has revealed details of a new piece of undetectable malware targeting Apple's Mac computers—reportedly first macOS malware of 2018. Dubbed OSX/MaMi , an unsigned Mach-O 64-bit executable, the malware is somewhat similar to DNSChanger malware that infected millions of computers across the world in 2012. DNSChanger malware typically changes DNS server settings on infected computers, allowing attackers to route internet traffic through malicious servers and intercept sensitive information. First appeared on the Malwarebytes forum, a user posted a query regarding unknown malware that infected his friend's computer that silently changed DNS settings on infected macOS to 82.163.143.135 and 82.163.142.137 addresses. After looking at the post, ex-NSA hacker Patrick Wardle analysed the malware and found that it is indeed a ' DNS Hijacker, ' which also invokes security tools to install a new root certificate in an attempt to intercept encrypte

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years

macOS Malware Creator Charged With Spying on Thousands of PCs Over 13 Years
January 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
The U.S. Justice Department unsealed 16-count indictment charges on Wednesday against a computer programmer from Ohio who is accused of creating and installing spyware on thousands of computers for more than 13 years. According to the indictment, 28-year-old Phillip R. Durachinsky is the alleged author of FruitFly malware that was found targeting Apple Mac users earlier last year worldwide, primarily in the United States. Interestingly, Durachinsky was just 14 years old when he programmed the first version of the FruitFly malware, and this full-fledged backdoor trojan went largely undetected for several years, despite using unsophisticated and antiquated code. The malware was initially discovered in January 2017 by Malwarebytes and then Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker, found around 400 Mac computers infected with the newer strain of FruitFly. However, Wardle believed the number of infected Macs would likely be much higher. The malware is capable of advanced surveillance

Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks

Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks
September 29, 2017Unknown
" Always keep your operating system and software up-to-date ." This is one of the most popular and critical advice that every security expert strongly suggests you to follow to prevent yourself from major cyber attacks. However, even if you attempt to install every damn software update that lands to your system, there is a good chance of your computer remaining outdated and vulnerable. Researchers from security firm Duo Labs analysed over 73,000 Macs systems and discovered that a surprising number of Apple Mac computers either fails to install patches for EFI firmware vulnerabilities or doesn't receive any update at all. Apple uses Intel-designed Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) for Mac computers that work at a lower level than a computer's OS and hypervisors—and controls the boot process. EFI runs before macOS boots up and has higher-level privileges that, if exploited by attackers, could allow EFI malware to control everything without being detecte

Apple macOS High Sierra Exploit Lets Hackers Steal Keychain Passwords in Plaintext

Apple macOS High Sierra Exploit Lets Hackers Steal Keychain Passwords in Plaintext
September 26, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Apple yesterday rolled out a new version of its macOS operating system, dubbed High Sierra 10.13 —a few hours before an ex-NSA hacker publicly disclosed the details of a critical vulnerability that affects High Sierra as well as all earlier versions of macOS. Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker and now head of research at security firm Synack, found a critical zero-day vulnerability in macOS that could allow any installed application to steal usernames and plaintext passwords of online accounts stored in the Mac Keychain. The macOS Keychain is a built-in password management system that helps Apple users securely store passwords for applications, servers, websites, cryptographic keys and credit card numbers—which can be accessed using only a user-defined master password. Typically no application can access the contents of Keychain unless the user enters the master password. "I discovered a flaw where malicious non-privileged code (or apps) could programmatically access th

3 New CIA-developed Hacking Tools For MacOS & Linux Exposed

3 New CIA-developed Hacking Tools For MacOS & Linux Exposed
July 27, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has just published a new set of classified documents linked to another CIA project, dubbed ' Imperial ,' which reveals details of at least three CIA-developed hacking tools and implants designed to target computers running Apple Mac OS X and different flavours of Linux operating systems. If you are a regular reader of THN, you must be aware that this latest revelation by the whistleblower organisation is the part of an ongoing CIA-Vault 7 leaks, marking it as the 18th batch in the series. If you are unaware of the Vault 7 leaks, you can head on to the second of this article for having a brief look on all the leaks at once. Achilles — Tool to Backdoor Mac OS X Disk Images Dubbed Achilles , the hacking tool allows CIA operators to combine malicious Trojan applications with a legitimate Mac OS app into a disk image installer (.DMG) file. The binding tool, the shell script is written in Bash, gives the CIA operators "one or more desired operator specified e

Apple Users, Beware! A Nearly-Undetectable Malware Targeting Mac Computers

Apple Users, Beware! A Nearly-Undetectable Malware Targeting Mac Computers
July 25, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Yes, even Mac could also get viruses that could silently spy on its users. So, if you own a Mac and think you are immune to malware, you are wrong. An unusual piece of malware that can remotely take control of webcams, screen, mouse, keyboards, and install additional malicious software has been infecting hundreds of Mac computers for more than five years—and it was detected just a few months back. Dubbed FruitFly , the Mac malware was initially detected earlier this year by Malwarebytes researcher Thomas Reed, and Apple quickly released security patches to address the dangerous malware. Now months later, Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker and now chief security researcher at security firm Synack, discovered around 400 Mac computers infected with the newer strain of the FruitFly malware (FruitFly 2) in the wild. Wardle believes the number of infected Macs with FruitFly 2 would likely be much higher, as he only had access to some servers used to control FruitFly. Although it i

New MacOS Malware linked to Russian Hackers Can Steal Passwords & iPhone Backups

New MacOS Malware linked to Russian Hackers Can Steal Passwords & iPhone Backups
February 16, 2017Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have discovered a new Mac malware allegedly developed by APT28 Russian cyber espionage group who is believed to be responsible for 2016 presidential election hacking scandal. A new variant of the X-Agent spyware is now targeting Apple macOS system that has previously been used in cyber attacks against Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. The malware is designed to steal web browser passwords, take screenshots of the display, detect system configurations, execute files and exfiltrate iPhone backups stored on the computer. The X-Agent malware is tied to Russian hacking group known as APT28 — also known as Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Sednit, and Pawn Storm — that has been operating since at least 2007 and is allegedly linked to the Russian government. "Our past analysis of samples known to be linked to APT28 group shows a number of similarities between the Sofacy/APT28/Sednit Xagent component for Windows/Linux and the Mac OS binary that currently forms

Watch Out! First-Ever Word Macro Malware for Apple Mac OS Discovered in the Wild

Watch Out! First-Ever Word Macro Malware for Apple Mac OS Discovered in the Wild
February 09, 2017Swati Khandelwal
After targeting Windows-based computers over the past few years, hackers are now shifting their interest to Macs as well. The emergence of the first macro-based Word document attack against Apple's macOS platform is the latest example to prove this. The concept of Macros dates back to 1990s. You might be familiar with the message that reads: " Warning: This document contains macros. " Macro is a series of commands and actions that help automate some tasks. Microsoft Office programs support Macros written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), but they can also be used for malicious activities like installing malware. Until now, hackers were cleverly using this technique to target Windows. However, security researchers have now detected the first in-the-wild instance of hackers are making use of malicious macros in Word documents to install malware on Mac computers and steal your data – an old Windows technique. The hack tricks victims into opening infected W

Newly Discovered Mac Malware with Ancient Code Spying on Biotech Firms

Newly Discovered Mac Malware with Ancient Code Spying on Biotech Firms
January 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a rare piece of Mac-based espionage malware that relies on outdated coding practices but has been used in some previous real-world attacks to spy on biomedical research center computers. Dubbed Fruitfly , the malware has remained undetected for years on macOS systems despite using unsophisticated and "antiquated code." Infosec firm Malwarebytes discovered Fruitfly, detected as 'OSX.Backdoor.Quimitchin,' after one of its IT administrators spotted some unusual outgoing activity from a particular Mac computer. According to the researchers, the recently discovered what they're calling "the first Mac malware of 2017" contains code that dates before OS X, which has reportedly been conducting detailed surveillance operation on targeted networks, possibly for over two years. Fruitfly uses a hidden pearl script to communicate back to two command-and-control (C&C) servers and has the ability to perform actions l

Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe

Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe
October 06, 2016Mohit Kumar
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be much safer than Windows at keeping viruses and malware out of its environment, but that's simply not true anymore. It's not because Mac OS X is getting worse every day, but because hackers are getting smart and sophisticated these days. The bad news for Mac users is that malware targeting webcams and microphones has now come up for Mac laptops as well. Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA staffer who heads up research at security intelligence firm Synack, discovered a way for Mac malware to tap into your live feeds from Mac's built-in webcam and microphone to locally record you even without detection. Wardle is the same researcher who has discovered a number of security weaknesses in Apple products, including ways to bypass the Gatekeeper protections in OS X. Wardle also released a free tool called RansomWhere? earlier this year that has generic detection capabilities for Mac OS X ransomware variants. Wardle is scheduled to present h

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers
September 07, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Unlike specially crafted malware specifically developed to take advantage of Windows operating system platform, cyber attackers have started creating cross-platform malware for wider exploitation. Due to the rise in popularity of Mac OS X and other Windows desktop alternatives, hackers have begun designing cross-platform malware modularly for wide distribution. Cross-platform malware is loaded with specialized payloads and components, allowing it to run on multiple platforms. One such malware family has recently been discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, which run on all the key operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Stefan Ortloff, a researcher from Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team, first discovered the Linux and Windows variants of this family of cross-platform backdoor, dubbed Mokes , in January this year. Now, the researcher today confirmed the existence of an OS X variant of this malware family, explaining a technical breakd

Apple's Mac OS X Still Open to Malware, Thanks Gatekeeper

Apple's Mac OS X Still Open to Malware, Thanks Gatekeeper
January 16, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be much safer than Windows computers at keeping out the viruses and malware, but the new Exploit discovered by researchers again proves it indeed quite false. Last year, The Hacker News reported a deadly simple exploit that completely bypassed one of the core security features in Mac OS X known as Gatekeeper . Apple released a patch in November, but now the same security researcher who discovered the original Gatekeeper bypass vulnerability said he found an equally obvious workaround. Patrick Wardle, ex-NSA staffer and head of research at security intelligence firm Synack, said the security patch released by Apple was " incredibly weak " and that the update was " easy to bypass " in minutes. Gatekeeper's Failure Once Again Introduced in July of 2012, Gatekeeper is Apple's anti-malware feature designed to block untrusted, dodgy apps from running, keeping Mac OS X systems safe from malware. Ho

Deadly Simple Exploit Bypasses Apple Gatekeeper Security to Install Malicious Apps

Deadly Simple Exploit Bypasses Apple Gatekeeper Security to Install Malicious Apps
October 01, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be invulnerable to malware, but the new Exploit discovered by security researchers proves it indeed quite false. Patrick Wardle , director of research at security firm Synack , has found a deadly simple way that completely bypass one of the core security features in Mac OS X i.e.  Gatekeeper . Introduced in July of 2012, Gatekeeper is Apple's anti-malware feature designed to keep untrusted and malicious applications from wreaking havoc on Macs. However, Wardle has found a quick and simple way to trick Gatekeeper into letting malicious apps through on Mac OS X machines, even if the protection is set to open apps downloaded only from the Mac App Store. According to the researcher, before allowing any apps to execute on an OS X machine, Gatekeeper performs a number of checks, such as: Checking the initial digital certificate of a downloaded app Ensuring the app has been signed with an Apple-recognized developer certificat

Thunderstrike 2: World's First Firmware Worm That Infects Mac Computers Without Detection

Thunderstrike 2: World's First Firmware Worm That Infects Mac Computers Without Detection
August 04, 2015Mohit Kumar
If you think Apple's Mac computers are much more secure than Windows-powered systems, you need to think again. This isn't true, and security researchers have finally proved it. Two security researchers have developed a proof-of-concept computer worm for the first time that can spread automatically between MacBooks, without any need for them to be networked. Dubbed Thunderstrike 2 , the new proof-of-concept firmware attack is inspired by previously developed proof-of-concept firmware called Thunderstrike. Thunderstrike Attack , developed by security engineer Trammell Hudson, actually took advantage of a vulnerability in Thunderbolt Option ROM that could be used to infect Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) by allocating a malicious code into the boot ROM of an Apple computer through infected Thunderbolt devices. Thunderstrike 2 Spreads Remotely Although the original Thunderstrike required an attacker to have physical access to your Mac computer to work, t

Apple Mac OSX Zero-Day Bug Allows Hackers to Install RootKit Malware

Apple Mac OSX Zero-Day Bug Allows Hackers to Install RootKit Malware
June 02, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A zero-day software vulnerability discovered deep in the firmware of many Apple computers could allows an attacker to modify the system's BIOS and install a rootkit , potentially gaining complete control of the victim's Mac. The critical vulnerability, discovered by well-known OS X security researcher Pedro Vilaca, affects Mac computers shipped before mid-2014 that are allowed to go into sleep mode. While studying Mac security, Vilaca found that it's possible to tamper with Apple computer's UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface) code. UEFI is a low-level firmware designed to improve upon computer's BIOS, which links a computer's hardware and operating system at startup and is typically not accessible to users. But… Vilaca found that the machine's UEFI code can be unlocked after a computer is put to sleep and then brought back up. " And you ask, what the hell does this mean? " Vilaca wrote in a blog post published Friday. " It means th

Thunderstrike — Infecting Apple MacBooks with EFI Bootkit via Thunderbolt Ports

Thunderstrike — Infecting Apple MacBooks with EFI Bootkit via Thunderbolt Ports
January 05, 2015Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher has discovered an easy way to infect Apple's Macintosh computers with an unusual kind of malware using its own Thunderbolt port . The hack was presented by programming expert Trammell Hudson at the annual Chaos Computer Congress (30C3) in Hamburg Germany. He demonstrated that it is possible to rewrite the firmware of an Intel Thunderbolt Mac . The hack, dubbed Thunderstrike , actually takes advantage of a years-old vulnerability in the Thunderbolt Option ROM that was first disclosed in 2012 but is yet to be patched. Thunderstrike can infect the Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) by allocating a malicious code into the boot ROM of an Apple computer through infected Thunderbolt devices. The hack is really dangerous as, according to the researcher, there is no means for the user to detect the hack, or remove it even by re-installation of the complete OS X, only because the malicious code actually is in the system's own separate ROM. "
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