Posted on May 1, 2017 at 3:06 PM
New Malware that’s been Spying on Secure User Data Found on Mac OS
Most of the users that own Apple devices were never bothered by problems and threats like viruses and malware since they’re basically nonexistent in the Apple eco-system. Apple devices were always well-known for their top encryption as well as extremely quality hardware, so problems like viruses and similar threats were never something that bothered them, and the users might even be completely oblivious to threats like these, which is something that Apple can definitely be proud of.
However, a team from the McAfee Labs has recently issued a report that’s showing us quite the change when it comes to the carefree situation of the Apple users. According to the report, only during the last year, the malicious attacks on the Mac OS systems has increased for an amazing 744%, which is an insane increase, especially for a system that’s so cared for like the one Apple has.
More than 460,000 samples that were gathered by researchers only confirms this report since all of them were samples of malware found on Apple’s Mac computers. And this situation, dire as it may be, turns out to only be the tip of the iceberg.
CheckPoint’s team has been working hard on the same malware-hunting project, and they’ve even discovered some newly released malware for the Mac devices. According to them, this new malware is completely undetectable, or at least it is when it comes to the usual, traditional methods of detection. The malware can fool anti-virus programs so that they won’t work. After any scan, quick or thorough, the scan will always bring up zero detections and no threats, which is because of the fact that the malware has a completely valid and signed developer Apple certificate.
The malware was named DOK, and it’s been distributed via emails, mostly as a form of phishing attacks, as was stated in two different reports. When it comes to Mac, this is the first big-scale malware that the users have had to deal with, so it came as a little surprise that they were caught off-guard and unprepared for such a serious threat.
The researchers have stated that the malware was designed to try and get administrator privileges as soon as it enters the device and that one of its first duties is to install another root certificate on any and all systems it’s designed to target. When this is done, a hacker that has sent the malware will gain full access to the secure data traffic of the user, as well as their communication data.
The Apple’s security feature called the Gatekeeper has absolutely no effect because of the validation that the malware comes with, so the Gatekeeper sees it as a legitimate Apple product, instead of the dangerous intruder that it is.
Phishing methods have become one of the most common forms of online attacks, so the Mac users are advised not to click on any links received by an unknown source. It’s also very important to pay attention when it comes to providing your root password and to never do it when an unknown and untrusted software is in question. Suspicious links found on websites and received via emails are probably best left alone and unclicked.