Apple’s new chip, the M1 has caused quite a stir in the Mac community since it was released last November. The new architecture, paired with the re-write of the Apple OS to operate on the ARM based chip has yielded great gains for users, such as a great battery life and huge improvements in speed, especially for those who use Macs for photo and video editing.
Unfortunately all the excitement has has also attracted cybercriminals. A new infection dubbed Silver Sparrow has spread through Apple’s systems, targeting these new chips as well as Intel based ones. Once infected, it sits in the background of your Mac as a back door, awaiting commands from criminals who can do whatever they want to your system.
At this time, it has not been determined how Silver Sparrow is infecting Mac machines. However, it has already been found on over 30,000 systems spread across 150 countries and those numbers are likely much higher.
If you have our Total Security service, we have already deployed a fix that checks for the Silver Sparrow infection and if found, removes it and prevents your system from becoming infected.
If you want to check your Mac to see if Silver Sparrow has wormed its way onto there, since the infection is so new, checking for it is a rather manual process. This lengthy (and incredibly helpful) writeup from Ars Technica commenter effgee will help you find the offending files, confirm they’re problematic, and remove them.
I’m certain that this will not be the last Mac based malware we will have to face. Apple makes a great product and like most technology, has become a target for cybercriminals.
Stay safe out there