Can Macs really be infected with viruses and Malwares?
This has been the question that many mac users continue to ask. A lot of computer users, if asked, will tell you that Macs are immune to virus attacks and any malware. However, this has not been the case altogether.
A survey by tech companies has found that there are malware and “unsupported programs” that can attack even the most powerful computers.
On the other hand, Mac OS is considered “a special brand” because of its high-class and meticulous structure. However, according to the malware detection found on over 30,000 devices worldwide, you will find that the OS is “not as special,” as claimed.
Understanding the Malware
Almost all malwares are created to cause damage to the computer’s normal functioning and performance. These malicious programs can either delete program files, exploit security, or even corrupt the entire Operating System.
The malware can be in Trojan, Spyware, Worm, or just an Adware.
“Silver Sparrow is one malware that does not behave like the ordinary adware.” believes security researchers. Most adware targets the mac’s Operating System. But, this particular malware has not yet caused any damage to the mac’s OS.
“Silver Sparrow” Malware on Macs
Red Canary Inc. (a security research company) was the first establishment that recently discovered the malware. It quickly notified all mac users to stay alert on the unsuspicious but deceptive malware. A malware characterized by silently infecting mac computers without being detected.
The Silver Sparrow malware has caused bizarre panic to mac users across the globe. Although there have not been any reports indicating any malicious damage to the infected computers, researchers continue to keep a keen eye on the malware because it can remove itself from the infected computer without being noticed.
So far, Silver Sparrow has been identified in at least 153 countries, with higher concentrations in the United States, followed by Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Apple’s spokesperson has pointed out “there is no evidence to suggest the malware they identified has delivered malicious payload to infected users.”
Red Canary and Apple experts have advised Mac users to stay alert because it is not clear as to how the virus could have spread to multiple mac users rapidly. The malware primarily runs on Apple’s M1 chip.
In regards to the Silver Sparrow, Red Canary concluded by highlighting that it is not the only malware that can attack Apple’s M1 chip.
Red Canary’s official website has stated that “In addition, the ultimate goal of this malware is a mystery. We have no way of knowing with certainty what payload would be distributed by the malware, if a payload has already been delivered and removed, or if the adversary has a future timeline for distribution. Based on data shared with us by Malwarebytes, the nearly 30,000 affected hosts have not downloaded what would be the next or final payload.”
Silver Sparrow has yet to cause any actual harm or deliver any malicious payloads despite its ‘reasonably serious threat’ status. A spokesperson from Apple told Ars Technica that it had revoked the developer accounts’ certificates to sign the packages. This should, therefore, prevent any new devices from becoming infected. However, any Mac user ought to do their part, as always, in keeping their computers safe.
Users should take extra security measures by being aware of general inconsistencies, email addresses, and URLs that may be a phishing attempt, in addition to creating varying and long passwords to sensitive accounts wherever they can.