Security News > 2021 > February > New 'Silver Sparrow' Malware Infected Nearly 30,000 Apple Macs

New 'Silver Sparrow' Malware Infected Nearly 30,000 Apple Macs
2021-02-22 02:38

Days after the first malware targeting Apple M1 chips was discovered in the wild, researchers have disclosed yet another previously undetected piece of malicious software that was found in about 30,000 Macs running Intel x86 64 and the iPhone maker's M1 processors.

Calling the malware "Silver Sparrow," cybersecurity firm Red Canary said it identified two different versions of the malware - one compiled only for Intel x86 64 and uploaded to VirusTotal on August 31, 2020, and a second variant submitted to the database on January 22 that's compatible with both Intel x86 64 and M1 ARM64 architectures.

The malware comes with capabilities to completely erase its presence from the compromised host, suggesting the actors associated with the campaign may be motivated by stealth techniques.

In response to the findings, Apple has revoked the binaries that were signed with the Apple Developer ID's Saotia Seay and Julie Willey, thus preventing further installations.

Silver Sparrow is the second piece of malware to contain code that runs natively on Apple's new M1 chip.

"Though we haven't observed Silver Sparrow delivering additional malicious payloads yet, its forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate, and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a reasonably serious threat, uniquely positioned to deliver a potentially impactful payload at a moment's notice," Lambert said.

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