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Mac ThiefQuest malware may not be ransomware after all

Editor’s note: The original name for the malware, EvilQuest, has been changed due to a legitimate game of the same name from 2012. The new name, ThiefQuest, is also more fitting for our updated understanding of the malware. The ThiefQuest malware, which was discovered last week, may not actually be ransomware according to new findings. The behaviors that have been documented thus far are … [Read more...]

New Mac ransomware spreading through piracy

A Twitter user going by the handle @beatsballert messaged me yesterday after learning of an apparently malicious Little Snitch installer available for download on a Russian forum dedicated to sharing torrent links. A post offered a torrent download for Little Snitch, and was soon followed by a number of comments that the download included malware. RUTracker post showing magnet link to malicious … [Read more...]

What to do when you receive an extortion e-mail

In the last few weeks, there has been an upswing in people receiving threatening, extortion e-mail messages, demanding payment to avoid release of sensitive information. Most of the time, these e-mails are what we call “sextortion” e-mails, as they claim that malware on your computer has captured embarrassing photos of you through the webcam, but there can be other variants on the same … [Read more...]

iOS Mail bug allows remote zero-click attacks

On Monday, ZecOps released a report about a couple concerning vulnerabilities with the Mail app in iOS. These vulnerabilities would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the Mail app or the maild process that assists the Mail app behind the scenes. Most concerning, though, is the fact that even the most current version of iOS, 13.4.1, is vulnerable. The way the attack works is that the … [Read more...]

Mac adware is more sophisticated and dangerous than traditional Mac malware

As the data revealed in our State of Malware report showed, Mac threats are on the rise, but they are not the same type of threats experienced by Windows users. Most notably, more traditional forms of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, and backdoors account for over 27 percent of all Windows threats. That figure is less than 1 percent for Macs. Further, Mac malware is rather unsophisticated … [Read more...]

Mac threat detections on the rise in 2019

Conventional wisdom has been that, although not invulnerable to cyberthreats (as some old Apple ads would have you believe), Macs are afflicted with considerably fewer infections than Windows PCs. However, when reviewing our 2019 Mac detection telemetry, we noticed a startling upward trend. Indeed, the times, they are a-changin’. To get a sense of how Mac malware performed against all … [Read more...]

New iOS exploit checkm8 allows permanent compromise of iPhones

This morning, an iOS researcher with the Twitter handle @axi0mX announced the release of a new iOS exploit named checkm8 that promises to have serious consequences for iPhone and iPad hardware. According to the Tweet, this exploit is a “permanent unpatchable bootrom exploit,” capable of affecting devices from 4S up to the iPhone X. But what, exactly, does this mean? First, … [Read more...]

Unprecedented new iPhone malware discovered

A post by Ian Beer of Google Project Zero released late yesterday evening sent the security community reeling. According to Beer, a small set of websites had been hacked in February and were being used to attack iPhones, infecting them with malware. These sites, which see thousands of visitors per day, were used to distribute iOS malware over a two-year period. History of iOS … [Read more...]

New Mac cryptominer Malwarebytes detects as Bird Miner runs by emulating Linux

A new Mac cryptocurrency miner Malwarebytes detects as Bird Miner has been found in a cracked installer for the high-end music production software Ableton Live. The software is used as an instrument for live performances by DJs, as well as a tool for composing, recording, mixing, and mastering. And while cryptomining is not new on Mac, this one has a unique twist: It runs via Linux … [Read more...]

How does macOS protect against malware?

Mac users often are told that “Macs don’t get viruses.” This is not really true, of course. Macs can and do get infected. However, it is true that macOS provides some basic protection against malware. This protection can be quite effective in some ways, but, unfortunately, quite ineffective in others. Let’s take a look at how macOS features protect you from malware, and how … [Read more...]