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Apple Macs with M1 silicon no longer vulnerable to Silver Sparrow malware

Last Updated : 24 February 2021, 09:41 IST

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It's been barely half a year since Apple unveiled the new generation of MacBook Pro and Air series with the company's proprietary M1 silicon chipsets. Now, it has come to light that the new Apple PCs are vulnerable to mysterious malware.

Last weekend, security researchers Wes Hurd and Jason Killam at Red Canary uncovered a strain of macOS malware dubbed as Silver Sparrow.

"The novelty of this downloader arises primarily from the way it uses JavaScript for execution—something we hadn’t previously encountered in other macOS malware—and the emergence of a related binary compiled for Apple’s new M1 ARM64 architecture," said Red Canary.

Though it doesn't carry any malicious payload, its a high infection rate and poses a serious threat if it gets in the hand of bad actors. Given the popularity of Apple Macs, Silver Sparrow-laced with payloads can spread fast around the world in quick time.

As per Malwarebytes, Silver Sparrow has been detected in 29,193 Macs across 153 countries with most cases concentrated in Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Cupertino-based company has confirmed to DH that it has identified the developer account of the malware creator and revoked the certificates, which prevents the latter from working on Apple Macs any further. And, also this puts a stop to Silver Sparrow from spreading to other devices anymore.

If any user downloads software outside the Mac App Store, Apple's state-of-the-art technical mechanisms, such as the Apple notary service, are capable of identifying any threats and protect users from malware, and blocks it from running on the Mac computers.

In addition to the custom security hardware and software protections, Apple also offers secure and timely software updates, a safer app ecosystem, delivers secure communications and payments, and provides a safer experience on the web.

That being said, all device owners are advised to install applications only from Apple App Store and do not try to side-load apps from a third-party app store.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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Published 24 February 2021, 06:51 IST

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