Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/28/2020
07:00 PM
50%
50%

A Rogues' Gallery of MacOS Malware

MacOS isn't immune from malware. Being prepared means understanding the nature of the worst threats a security team is likely to see attacking Macs in the enterprise.
Previous
1 of 8
Next

For years, Apple Macintosh users basked in a confident glow of invincibility. It was, as it turns out, the glow from a false light. MacOS is no less susceptible to malware than any other operating system, a situation made plain in recent reports on the state of cybersecurity.

In the "2020 State of Malware Report" published by MalwareBytes, researchers saw a 400% increase in MacOS malware from 2018 to 2019, bringing it to a point at which malware detections per endpoint for the Macintosh were more than double those of Windows.

At the same time, the types of malware most prevalent on the different platforms have significant differences. Windows malware is frequently aimed at capturing information or gaining control of enterprise networks and systems; the most common MacOS malware is intended to deliver unwanted advertisements to users or send them to a website they didn't intend to visit.

Even the language used to describe the threats to the platforms is different. Many of the pieces of malware for MacOS are described as PUPs -- potentially unwanted programs. That implies programs could be legitimate software for some users, but not everyone. These might be thought of as similar to the dozens of "utility" programs that have frequently come preinstalled on Windows computers. While some were useful for some users, many were, at best, unwanted clutter that soaked up valuable storage space.

If so much of the malware aimed against MacOS is intended for consumers, why should enterprise IT security teams care? Part of the reason is that consumers come to work and become employees. If their workstations contain unwanted software, then they can be distracted and their legitimate web activities hijacked to show them unwanted ads. Beyond the demand for employee attention, the programs and technologies that load this "adware" onto computers could conceivably be repurposed to deliver much more dangerous payloads in the future if those payloads were considered more profitable for the criminals than the current ad networks.

The rogues' gallery presented here includes the most common MacOS malware and some of the most dangerous. In each case, it's software loaded without the informed permission of the user and can be far more difficult to unload than to load. It is, in short, malware, no matter its specific designation.

(Image: WhataWin VIA Adobe Stock)

 

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 8
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-21553
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Dell PowerScale OneFS versions 8.1.0-9.1.0 contain an Incorrect User Management vulnerability.under some specific conditions, this can allow the CompAdmin user to elevate privileges and break out of Compliance mode. This is a critical vulnerability and Dell recommends upgrading at the earliest.
CVE-2021-21562
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Dell EMC PowerScale OneFS contains an untrusted search path vulnerability. This vulnerability allows a user with (ISI_PRIV_LOGIN_SSH or ISI_PRIV_LOGIN_CONSOLE) and (ISI_PRIV_SYS_UPGRADE or ISI_PRIV_AUDIT) to provide an untrusted path which can lead to run resources that are not under the application...
CVE-2021-21563
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Dell EMC PowerScale OneFS versions 8.1.2-9.1.0.x contain an Improper Check for Unusual or Exceptional Conditions in its auditing component.This can lead to an authenticated user with low-privileges to trigger a denial of service event.
CVE-2021-21565
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Dell PowerScale OneFS versions 9.1.0.3 and earlier contain a denial of service vulnerability. SmartConnect had an error condition that may be triggered to loop, using CPU and potentially preventing other SmartConnect DNS responses.
CVE-2021-26085
PUBLISHED: 2021-08-03
Affected versions of Atlassian Confluence Server allow remote attackers to view restricted resources via a Pre-Authorization Arbitrary File Read vulnerability in the /s/ endpoint. The affected versions are before version 7.4.10, and from version 7.5.0 before 7.12.3.