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'Reasonably serious' malware detected for M1 Macs

Posted February 22, 2021 | Mac

Malware for the M1 Macs are like London buses. You wait ages for one, then two come along at the same time.

Well, “the same time” might be pushing it a little, since malware outbreaks – if discovered by responsible bodies – tend to be reported to the public some time after they are discovered and, hopefully, patched. The first recorded malware for M1 Macs, which we covered last week, was reported to VirusTotal as early as December. This week we’re hearing about the second.

(The news comes at a time when Apple is publicly arguing for M1 Macs being safer than Intel ones – a claim that these two pieces of malware, of course, do not by themselves disprove.)

Security firm Red Canary (reported by MacRumors) discovered the new malware, which targets Macs equipped with the new M1 processors. The malware is named Silver Sparrow, and uses the macOS Installer Javascript API to execute commands.

The security company has been so far unable to determine how the commands lead to anything further, and it’s thus still unknown to what extent Silver Sparrow poses a threat. The security company nevertheless believes that the malware is serious.

According to Malwarebytes, Silver Sparrow has infected 29,139 macOS systems in 153 countries, but most of them in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany. However, it is unclear how many of these are M1 Macs.

For general advice on keeping your system safe, check out our Mac security tips.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.

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