Mac under attack: nasty malware targets your passwords and iPhone backup

Mac malware is becoming increasingly prevalent, and the latest example is a nasty piece of malware aimed at Apple computers that's been linked to Russian hacking outfit APT28 (better known as ‘Fancy Bear’).

According to security firm Bitdefender, the Xagent malware, which previously went after Windows and Linux PCs, now also targets Macs – and it gets up to some particularly unpleasant tricks on the victim’s machine.

It’s a modular backdoor, with various modules capable of grabbing system information, taking screen grabs, snooping on the web browser to get passwords, and perhaps most worryingly, hoovering up entire iPhone backups which are on the infected Apple computer.

Bitdefender describes Xagent as having ‘advanced cyber-espionage capabilities’, indicating that it’s aimed at intelligence gathering and hitting the likes of government computers – which isn’t surprising given the alleged Russian hacker connection. Although it will, of course, happily infect any Mac out there.

Word on the street

This comes after last week’s revelation that macro-based Word document attacks are now being aimed at Mac computers, coupled with the discovery of MacDownloader, another piece of macOS malware purportedly concocted by Iranian hackers to steal data from the US defense industry.

And as we mentioned initially, all this adds plentiful fuel to the Mac malware fire, which is certainly burning with more intensity now we’re in 2017.

If there are still Mac folks out there who think the platform is bulletproof when it comes to viruses, that clearly isn’t the case, and macOS security needs to be taken just as seriously as Windows (even if there is still far more malware out there targeting Microsoft’s operating system).

Via: Ars Technica

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).