Security Researcher Finds Mac Malware Spying on Home Computers


If you’ve heard the phrase “there aren’t viruses for Macs,” think again.

A researcher with security firm Synack said at least 400 Macs have been infected by a malware variant that allows attackers to access webcams and keyboards and capture screenshots, Ars Technica reported.

Synack’s Patrick Wardle was able to register a command and control server that the infected computers called back to. Wardle didn’t do anything illegal once the Macs contacted the server, but he could have spied through their webcams or logged keystrokes. The malware Wardle spotted was undetectable by most commercial antiviruses and by Apple’s own security system. It’s a variant of a separate malware that the firm Malwarebytes discovered in January and that had infected just a handful of computers. Synack presented about the malware at the Black Hat conference.

"A lot of Mac users are overconfident in the security of their Mac[s]. [The discovery] just goes to reiterate to everyday users that there are perhaps people out there trying to hack their computers," Wardle told Ars Technica.