Security researchers have detected two strains of malware targeting Apple’s new M1 chip within three months since Apple introduced the M1 Chip in November 2020 on the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini. Previously, Mac security researcher Patrick Wardle mentioned the first strain of malware that disguises itself as a Safari adware extension. The malicious Safari adware extension called GoSearch22 was traced to the Pirrit Mac adware family. GoSearch22 adware disguises itself as a legitimate Safari browser extension and collects browsing data.
Along with the Pirrit Mac adware, researchers detected a second malware strain – Silver Sparrow. Though Silver Sparrow has not released any malicious payloads yet, it can unload malicious payloads at any moment. According to security analysis Silver Sparrow had infected 29,139 macOS endpoints across 153 countries as of February 17, including high volumes of detection in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany.
Malware developers and distributors are getting creative day by day and their ability to reverse engineer the M1 chip in just three months showcase their expertise. News of the second malware strain emerged the same day that Apple unveiled the latest version of its Platform Security Guide, which points to a number of M1-related capabilities.