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Vulnerabilities / Threats

5/28/2020
07:00 PM

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.
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Shlayer Trojan

Shlayer doesn't make the list because it's incredibly sophisticated or breathtakingly dangerous. It makes the list because it's effective and prolific, hitting an estimated 10% of all Macs in 2019 and being responsible for nearly one-third of all intrusion attempts detected against the platform in the same year.

Shlayer is a downloader that masquerades as an installation tool for a supposedly necessary application update; Adobe Flash Player is a frequent alias for the malware. Once the button to begin the installation is clicked, Shlayer uses a variety of simple tactics to disguise system security warnings and trick users into giving the application permission to proceed.

Once on the victim's system, Shlayer has typically fetched a combination of adware programs that insert browser helpers and DNS redirection tools. It's important to note, though, that there's no technological reason Shlayer couldn't also be used to download far more destructive malware, especially since its ubiquity doesn't seem likely to diminish anytime soon.

(Image: igor VIA Adobe Stock)

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