Mac will encounter more malware in 2017, and the Apple desktop operating system may not be prepared to handle it, two security experts said at the RSA Conference here last week.
“MacOS is just as vulnerable as any other [operating system],” More and more threats are coming to Mac, and they’re easy to exploit with social engineering.”
At least four major pieces of Mac malware discovered in 2016 used social engineering to get into the system, Wardle said. Two of them, including the first (and so far only) example of Mac encrypting ransomware, had been written into corrupted versions of the BitTorrent application Transmission.
Another pretended to be a document converter. The last came bundled with a well-known scareware product. (Apple has patched macOS against all the individual pieces of malware described here.)
Likewise, OSX/Pirrit, the insidious piece of adware that Serper detailed in his presentation, came with purportedly cracked versions of Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop found online. During installation, the package asked the user for his or her administrative password, which the adware then used to gain root privileges and create a new, hidden system account that could install more software. The promised Office or Photoshop application was not actually part of the installer package.
Serper discovered real names belonging to fellow Israelis in Pirrit’s code. Through LinkedIn, he found that they worked at a legitimate browser-ad company in Tel Aviv. The company denied involvement, but Serper later discovered that one of the alleged code writers took credit for Pirrit in his resume.
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