Silver Sparrow delivers a wake-up call to Mac users around the world about their security complacence.
There is a common belief amongst many users of Apple products that they don’t need to worry about viruses, hacking, or cybersecurity. The belief is that Apple’s ‘walled garden’ is so secure and so powerful that any threats to their machines would be neutralized by gatekeepers long before they ever become a problem.
In truth, there has been very little that has happened in the past few years to shake that faith and devotion.
But that may all be changing with the news of a malicious piece of software that has been dubbed ‘Silver Sparrow,’ and which seems to be targeting Apple’s first-ever homegrown chips, the M1. Business Insider reports that ‘just shy of 30,000 of Apple’s new computers have already been infected, according to the security firm Red Canary, primarily in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany. The infected machines range from the Mac Mini desktop to the latest version of Apple’s laptops. Both the latest MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are powered by M1 chips.’
While Silver Sparrow has yet to do any real damage to the computers it has infected, we noted in last week’s blog stories (link to last week’s ransomware blog posts) that the installation of malware is often the precursor to a ransomware attack of some kind.
AppleInsider.com reports that ‘the malware seemed to be an in-development or test malware, rather than a fully-realized threat, as it lacked a malicious payload. However, it did have the capability to add such an item at a later date through repeated hourly updates.’
Computer security expert Alan told the BBC that the attack appeared to be an effort to disprove this long-standing myth about Apple’s invulnerability.”It is as if someone was trying a proof of concept of how to move harmful code onto Macs and to control it once there,” he said
The bad news is that no matter whether you use Windows, iOS, Android, or any other operating software, none is automatically safe from the threat of an online attack, or from hackers who spend every waking moment dreaming up new ways to exploit the tools that run the digital economy of the 21st century.
The good news is that cyber security experts are just as dedicated as hackers. Sophisticated security firms like 2|SEC spend their days monitoring new security developments and working to maintain the trust and security of their clients.
If you are worried about your own vulnerability, speak to a consultant at 2|SEC today and find out what we can do for you.