Security researchers have spotted a new malware operation named Silver Sparrow targeting MAC devices and it is believed to have infected 30,000 systems. The malware was discovered by security researchers from Red Canary and analyzed together with researchers from Malwarebytes and VMWare Carbon Black. “According to data provided by Malwarebytes, Silver Sparrow had infected 29,139 macOS endpoints across 153 countries as of February 17, including high volumes of detection in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany,” Red Canary’s Tony Lambert wrote in a report published last week.
<p>There is a misconception around Apple devices that they are not susceptible to malware infections, which is a myth that needs to be debunked. While it certainly makes sense for malware authors to target more popular OS types with greater frequency, there have been many examples of OS X-specific malware as well.</p> <p> </p> <p>Mac users are advised to update their operating systems and install an antivirus. Apple devices are the same as any other piece of technology, they can be infected with malware and/or viruses. Apps should also be updated regularly to ensure that the latest, safe version is installed, to avoid these becoming the entry vector for threat actors.</p>
<p>This is an interesting development just days after researchers found the first piece of malware targeting the M1 chip. The Silver Sparrow malware comes with a mechanism to completely remove itself, which is usually utilised for high-stealth operations. However, at present there are no signs the self-destruct feature has been used, which raises the question of why the mechanism exists. Whilst Silver Sparrow hasn’t yet been observed delivering additional malicious payloads, its M1 chip compatibility, high infection rate, and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a serious threat, uniquely positioned to distribute a potential payload at a moment’s notice.</p>