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Latest Malware Is Targeting Macs And Is Hard To Detect

By January 23, 2021May 11th, 2022Cybersecurity

There was a time when Apple was a niche player in the technology market.

As such, one thing Apple users could count on was the fact that they didn’t have to worry much about viruses or malware. Ransomware on apple devices is an unusual scenario because of the tight cyber security measures practiced. Whereas on the other hand there are so many low hanging fruits in the Windows market.

Times have changed, and Apple is now one of the dominant forces in tech. Given that change, the company’s products are now regularly targeted by hackers around the world. The most recently discovered variant of ransomware on MAC was dubbed OSAMiner is an excellent example of that.

OSAMiner has been seen in the wilds and in use by hackers since at least 2015, but the group that controls the code has taken pains to keep the malware relevant by making regular updates. Its most recent update has made it a nasty piece of work indeed.

OASMiner’s latest capabilities have seen it begin to export payloads as run-only AppleScript files, which makes decompiling them a daunting proposition. That makes the job of security professionals attempting to analyze the code in order to better understand it, an extremely challenging proposition.

Typically, OSAMiner is spread embedded in pirated copies of games and productivity software, so unless you make regular use of those, you’re unlikely to see this strain. If you do, however, be advised that it will quietly install itself on your system and begin hogging an ever-increasing share of resources. It does this as it sets about the task of mining for cryptocurrency, using your system to put money in the pockets of the hackers.

As malware goes, that’s certainly not the worst thing in the world. Your system will be sluggish and increasingly unresponsive if you find yourself infected with the code, but your files and the integrity of your network won’t be at risk. Of course, the hackers controlling the software could decide to shift gears at any time, so there’s no guarantee that will hold.

In any case, it’s something you should be aware of. Again, know that it is proving to be extremely hard to analyze properly thanks to some clever coding tricks employed by those who designed it.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.