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July 26, 2017

Mac malware – Quietly spying on you

Mac malware

Mac’s and Malware

Mac, which is not exempt from malware infections, has caught itself a new bug. FruitFly is a malicious piece of Mac malware that has been making its way onto Mac machines for years. This malware spies on its users through the computer’s camera, captures screen shots and logs key strokes. All the while hiding in the background.

Malwarebytes, a network security firm, had first identified the strain earlier in the year. They quickly discovered a second version called FruitFly 2. Unsure of how long exactly FruitFly has been infecting users, researchers did discover that the code was modified for the Mac Yosemite OS. Since Yosemite was released in October of 2014 it’s reasonable to assume FruitFly has been around for more than 3 years.

Currently that is all the information that has been deciphered. Researchers are still unaware of who is behind it and how it is spreading. Thomas Reed of Malwarebytes said FruitFly’s first version was “unlike anything I’ve seen before.” This should be a reminder to users that although Mac malware isn’t as common and widespread as Windows, it still exists.

“Mac users are over-confident,” Patrick Wardle of security firm Synack says. “We might not be as careful as we should be on the internet or opening up email attachments.”

Mac malware rising up!

Malware on Mac’s has been on the rise over the years. McAfee reports that it skyrocketed in 2016, though most of the reported incidents were adware related as opposed to spyware.

Wardle, who is also a former NSA analyst, ruled out the possibility of a hacker trying to intercept data for cyberespionage. He doesn’t believe the motives are driven by money either. Meaning FruitFly’s goal is a little more insidious and cringe-worthy. It’s watching people. This is why it’s important to maintain good practices when surfing the web or opening emails. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re on, android, mac, or windows. Everyone is at risk.

Find out more from this CBC News article. CBC FruitFly Updates