A mysterious malware called Silver Sparrow has been found on 30,000 Apple Macs around the world – becoming the second known malware to target Macs with Apple’s M1 chip.
Silver Sparrow has been executing on victim’s machines with the final payload yet to be determined, as the malware waits for further instructions from its authors. macOS endpoints across 153 countries, primarily in Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, are known to have been infected.
The M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) was released by Apple in autumn 2020, marking the first time that the tech giant created its own internal chip, with it bringing benefits, such as faster performance for native applications and extended battery life among other features.
Researchers found that none of the nearly 30,000 affected hosts downloaded what would be the next or final payload, at the time of writing. This would presumably be a component that would carry out malicious actions like data exfiltration, cryptomining, ransomware, adware or DDoS bot enslavement, to name a few possibilities. While the goal of the malware is still a mystery, there’s no doubt it is a huge danger to Apple users.
We advise Apple users to be aware of any incoming patches or updates that are made available to try and eradicate Silver Sparrow’s infection, and the risk of any further infections. Ensure automatic updates are set on your devices for the updates to be made as soon as they are available.