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Sneaky malware targeting MacOS users via pirated apps uncovered

In this post:

  • Malware targets MacOS via pirated apps, stealing crypto wallets.
  • Vigilance and trusted sources crucial to protect against cyber threats.
  • Hackers continuously innovate tactics to compromise cryptocurrency users.

A renowned cybersecurity firm has recently uncovered a sophisticated malware campaign targeting MacOS users who download pirated apps from unauthorized sources. 

This malware infiltrates users’ computers through compromised software installers and replaces their legitimate Bitcoin and Exodus crypto wallets with infected versions. 

While the hackers are still actively developing this malware, there are essential steps users can take to protect themselves.

The Malware’s Modus Operandi

The malware, discovered by Kaspersky Labs researchers in December, belongs to a new family of trojan proxies. Cybercriminals behind this campaign compromise legitimate applications that users download from untrusted websites. 

These apps are often cracked versions, which entice users to disable their security settings, making them susceptible to malware installation.

This malware specifically targets MacOS versions 13.6 and above. It employs a two-pronged attack approach. First, it captures a user’s computer security password when it is entered into an activator box during installation.

Second, it gains access to the private keys of crypto wallets when users attempt to open these compromised wallets, which have been tampered with by the malware.

Ingenious but basic malware

While the method employed by this malware is relatively basic, Kaspersky Labs’ researchers describe it as “seriously ingenious” due to its ability to execute a final payload that acts as a backdoor with administrator privileges. 

This payload replaces genuine Exodus and Bitcoin crypto wallet applications on the infected machine with malicious versions. These malicious versions stealthily steal secret recovery phrases as soon as the user unlocks the wallet.

Enhancing MacOS security against evolving malware threats

To safeguard against the ever-evolving malware campaign targeting MacOS users, it is imperative to implement a series of precautionary measures. First and foremost, users should exercise extreme caution when downloading software by exclusively sourcing it from reputable and authorized websites. 

Avoiding the temptation to acquire cracked or pirated applications from questionable sources is crucial, as these illicit downloads often serve as entry points for malware.

Regularly updating the MacOS operating system is essential. By keeping the software up to date, users ensure that vital security patches and updates are in place, effectively bolstering the system’s defenses against potential threats. 

This proactive approach is indispensable in maintaining the integrity and security of one’s MacOS environment.

To fortify their defenses further, users are strongly advised to install a dependable security solution on their MacOS devices. These security tools provide an additional layer of protection, actively detecting and neutralizing malware and cyberattacks. 

By embracing these precautionary measures, users can significantly reduce their vulnerability to the malware campaign and fortify their digital security posture.

Other techniques employed by hackers

Apart from the method discovered by Kaspersky Labs, hackers have resorted to other techniques to compromise crypto wallets and MacOS systems. One common tactic is disguising malware as legitimate wallets on online stores or fake websites. 

This deception has become so widespread that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning about it.

In a related incident from November, the North Korean Lazarus Group of hackers developed malware targeting MacOS users within the decentralized finance community. 

This malware circulated through Discord groups, highlighting the increasing sophistication and diversification of cyber threats targeting the cryptocurrency sector.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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