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Bluetooth vulnerability can be exploited in Key Negotiation of Bluetooth (KNOB) attacks

Those who are familiar with Bluetooth BR/EDR technology (aka Bluetooth Classic, from 1.0 to 5.1) can attest that it is not perfect. Like any other piece of hardware or software technology already on market, its usefulness comes with flaws. Early last week, academics at Singapore University of Technology, the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, and University of Oxford released … [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...]

Mac malware intercepts encrypted web traffic for ad injection

Last week, Malwarebytes researcher Adam Thomas found an interesting new piece of Mac malware that exhibits some troubling behaviors, including intercepting encrypted web traffic to inject ads. Let’s take a closer look at this adware, which Malwarebytes for Mac detects as OSX.SearchAwesome, to see how it’s installed, its behavior, and the implications of this kind of … [Read more...]

Holes found in Mojave’s privacy protection

macOS Mojave was released on Monday, September 24, with much promise of increased privacy protections. In particular, apps are now required to get permission from users before they can access data in certain locations, such as Mail data, contacts, calendar events, Safari user data, and more. Blocking access to Safari user data would have prevented the issue brought to light earlier this month, in … [Read more...]

Safari users: Where did your extensions go?

Safari 12 has brought with it some changes to how OSX handles browser extensions. At WWDC in June, Apple announced that Safari would block legacy extensions installed from outside the Extensions Gallery, which itself would now be deprecated. As a replacement, Safari will now rely on “app extensions.” Apple said that app extensions don’t see any browsing details, are more … [Read more...]

Mac App Store apps are stealing user data

There is a concerning trend lately in the Mac App Store. Several security researchers have independently found different apps that are collecting sensitive user data and uploading it to servers controlled by the developer. (This is referred to as exfiltrating the data.) Some of this data is actually being sent to Chinese servers, which may not be subject to the same stringent requirements around … [Read more...]

The state of Mac malware

Mac users are often told that they don’t need antivirus software, because there are no Mac viruses. However, this is not true at all, as Macs actually are affected by malware, and have been for most of their existence. Even the first well-known virus—Elk Cloner—affected Apple computers rather than MS-DOS computers. In 2018, the state of Mac malware has evolved, with more and more threats … [Read more...]

New Mac cryptominer has 23 older variants

On February 1, a new Mac cryptominer was discovered being distributed via a hack of the MacUpdate website. Since then, we’ve been doing some digging and found that this isolated incident was just the tip of the iceberg. The malware delivered by the MacUpdate hack appears to be the culmination of something that has been around since at least early October of last year. As we usually do when … [Read more...]

Interesting disguise employed by new Mac malware HiddenLotus

On November 30, Apple silently added a signature to the macOS XProtect anti-malware system for something called OSX.HiddenLotus.A. It was a mystery what HiddenLotus was until, later that same day, Arnaud Abbati found the sample and shared it with other security researchers on Twitter. The HiddenLotus “dropper” is an application named Lê Thu Hà (HAEDC).pdf, using an old trick of … [Read more...]