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An alarming warning has just been issued for millions of Apple users, after a “very malicious” malware was found stealing credentials, logging keystrokes and recording screenshots. Here’s what you must do today.
“This is serious and new threat for all Mac users,” warns Check Point’s Ekram Ahmed. The usual Mac malware landscape, he says, is not that serious. But this is very different. “It’s imperative that every single user check for these malicious files and delete them right away.”
Check Point has issued its warning as a wake-up call to Mac users, given the false assumption, it says, that users are fairly safe from such threats. And the cyber giant is not equivocating in its report, released today.
“This is a fully fledged malware,” Yaniv Balmas, the firm’s head of cyber research told me, “with very malicious intent and functionality.”
That functionality includes “harvesting credentials from various web browsers, collecting screenshots, monitoring and logging keystrokes, and downloading and executing files according to the orders received from Command-and-Control (C&C) servers.” The malware has also been designed with “a number of tricks to make it harder for researchers to analyze it.”
The new threat is a derivative of the notorious Formbook malware as a service. This rebranded to Xloader last year, Check Point says, and has been “prolific” in the last six months, “targeting not just Windows, but to our surprise, also Mac users.”
“The malware moves much faster and deeper, compared to its predecessor,” Ahmed says, and it’s set to get worse. “I expect the malware to continue to evolve in more virulent ways by the end of the year.”
There are two takeaways from Check Point’s new report. First, that Macs are becoming much more susceptible to attacks. Some of this is technical, a lot of it is opportunistic. More Macs, more reason to hone or rent attack tools to go after those users.
Second and more importantly, “there is a big misconception with Mac users regarding their security—for some reason most are sure they’re…