Editorials and informational articles

Fruitfly malware went undetected for years

A new Mac malware has passed undetected for years allowing its operator to spy on its victims. The Fruitfly malware has been patched in January 2017, but Patrick Wardle, scientist researcher at security firm Synack has discovered another version of the malware out in the open. Patrick was formerly a NSA hacker.

This new version could gain control of the victim’s computer, take screenshots of their screen, take webcam photos and more. So far it has been known that Fruitfly has infected nearly 400 victims, but the number can be bigger. Most of the victims are in the United States.

Wardle has stated for ZDNed that “it’s not the most sophisticated Mac malware“. He also continued in another article from ArsTechnica stating “I don’t know if it’s just some bored person or someone with perverse goals […] If some bored teenager is spying on me, that would still be very emotionally traumatic. If it’s turning on the webcam, that’s for perverse reasons“.

After the discovery made by Wardle, he reported everything to the law enforcement officials. Also all domains know to be associated with the malware are no longer available. That should essentially neutralize the threat.

As you might all guess, the Apple representatives did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment for this article.

The interesting thing is that even though the malware is not that sophisticated, it managed to stay under the radar for so long. Compairing with the new Mac malware that appeared recently, Fruitfly malware was easily detectable. Given the facts, none managed to find it until recently.

According to a McAfee study, the infections of Mac operating systems is increasing and by the end of the year we’re expecting for the numbers to grow.

fruitfly malware

Credits for photo, Patrick Wardle.