Malware Stories October 12
Malware Stories August 26
One of the major benefits of Apple’s ecosystem is that it’s a pretty secure environment. Take OS X (soon to be macOS). The first ever example of OS X ransomware seen in the wild was earlier this year, when it was major news. Other Mac malware exists, but it’s rare enough that individual examples make the news – and most of those require users to do something irresponsible, like install software from an unknown source.
Contrast that with Windows, where the BBC reported that the number of viruses, worms and trojans in circulation topped the one million mark as long ago as 2008. That may be somewhat exaggerated, but most sources agree that the number is in six figures.
iOS is an even more secure platform. Sure, if you jailbreak an iPhone, all bets are off, and there are ways to install sketchy apps on iOS devices using an enterprise certificate. But absent those two things, it wasn’t until this year that the first example of iOS malware was found …
Malware Stories August 19
No 9to5Mac reader is going to be at risk from malware that directs users to a scam website and asks them to download software, but Malwarebytes has discovered a previously unknown piece of Mac malware that could easily fool less technical users.
Thomas Reed, lead researcher at Malwarebytes, told us that he found the malware on a scam page hosted on the official Advanced Mac Cleaner website …
Malware Stories July 22
Security researchers last year discovered what they described as ‘the worst Android vulnerability ever,’ able to infect a phone with malware simply by sending an MMS message to it. The vulnerability, dubbed Stagefright, didn’t even require people to open the message for their phone to be infected.
A Cisco researcher has now discovered a similar vulnerability in OS X and iOS, that could allow an attacker to gain access to your stored passwords and files simply by sending you a malicious image file …
Malware Stories July 6
After the first ever example of Mac ransomware was found in the wild earlier this year, Bitdefender Labs has found what it tells us is only the second example of true Mac malware to enter circulation this year, which it has dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Elanor. The malware application was available on a number of (formerly?) reputable download sites such as MacUpdate.
The backdoor is embedded into a fake file converter application that is accessible online on reputable sites offering Mac applications and software. The EasyDoc Converter.app poses as a drag-and-drop file converter, but has no real functionality – it simply downloads a malicious script.
This is a nasty backdoor that can steal data, execute remote code and access the webcam, among other things …
Malware Stories March 17
Non-jailbroken iPhones are usually close to immune from malware thanks to Apple vetting every app before it’s made available in the App Store. So far, malware has relied on abusing enterprise certificates designed to allow companies to distribute apps to their own phones. But security company Palo Alto Networks has discovered a new piece of malware that can infect iPhones by exploiting a vulnerability in Apple’s DRM mechanism.
AceDeceiver is the first iOS malware we’ve seen that abuses certain design flaws in Apple’s DRM protection mechanism — namely FairPlay — to install malicious apps on iOS devices regardless of whether they are jailbroken.
AceDeceiver currently uses a geotag so that it is only activated when a user is located in China, but a simple switch could allow it to infect iPhones elsewhere …