MacSpy and MacRansom update: MacOS users raise alarm on new malware threats

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macOS Sierra
The macOS Sierra is introducing the new Apple File System and better phone integration. Apple

Owning a Mac is preferred by most since it is run by an operating system that is less prone to attacks. There have been multiple attempts to put the idea to the test, and now, two malware (MacSpy and MacRansom) have raised the alarm for some Apple desktop/ laptop users. 

MacSpy and MacRansom have been a cause for concern the past couple of weeks. A bit of good news is that these are still run via closed manner – meaning no one can simply download them and put them to work.

According to Bleeping Computer, both portals started to come out last May 25 following a routine scan on the Dark Web. MacSpy peddles the spyware, while MacRansom rents ransomware using a classic RaaS method. Both are not digitally signed.

Both are believed to be created by a developer in response to the lack of sophisticated malware targeted to Mac users, Alien Vault reports. MacSpy can allegedly capture screenshots every 30 seconds, log every keystroke, access synced iPhone photos and even obtain history and downloads from Safari and Chrome.

On the other end, MacRansom can encrypt an entire home directory. It promises an "unbreakable" 128-bit industrial standard encryption algorithm that will leave the victim "no option but to purchase our decryption software," IT News reports.

It is believed that both were done by inexperienced coders and are still technically under control. Nevertheless, it would be best for macOS users to stay vigilant especially when it comes to downloading software from less credible sites.

Despite failed attempts to breach the macOS in the past, a small window of opportunity can instantly wreak havoc into any machine and place users in an unusual position. According to AlienVault, the best way to detect MacSpy is to use a combination of network IDS (NIDS) rules once CPUs communicate for added safety measures. 

Speaking of the macOS, Apple recently released the third beta for macOS Sierra 10.12.6 to developers. Folks who want to try it out can do so by downloading it via the Apple Developer Center, or through the Mac App Store software update mechanism. With no significant features and bug fixes from the first two betas, the third beta is more than likely to be one of the final updates for the Sierra OS before transitioning to the macOS High Sierra.