M1 Mac users at risk of Safari extension based malware

Apple released the first batch of M1 Macs at its ‘Special Event’ in November. Patrick Wardle, Mac security researcher, has reportedly discovered a new malware which puts the new Macs at risk. Only the MacBook Air, the 13” MacBook Pro base model, and the Mac mini are powered by the M1 chip at the moment.

The new malware has reportedly been created as an extension for Apple’s web browser Safari. According to Wardle, the malware has been disguised in the form of an extension. The same malware was previously created for x86 Intel based Macs but has now been recreated for the new Apple silicon based Macs.

Created by a notorious adware family

The extension based malware is being referred to as “GoSearch22”. It has reportedly been developed by a member of the notorious Pirrit Mac adware family. The malware can track data of users that have the Safari extension installed on their computers.

GoSearch22
GoSearch22

The GoSearch22 extension reportedly also shows many ads on users’ screens. The ads include banner style ads and pop-up type ads. It has also been said that any interaction with the ads could infect a specific user’s Mac even further.

The Mac has mostly always remained secure against the plethora of malwares that affect different types of devices. The reason of course has to be the fact that the majority of the desktops and laptops run on Windows operating systems. However, Apple has also touted that its Mac operating system is much safer compared to its competitors, at many occasions.

Apple announced at its annual developers conference WWDC 2020 that the Mac would be transitioning from Intel to Apple Silicon. The company is moving away from the traditional x86 architecture to the ARM64 architecture. By doing so, the Mac comes closer to the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV – same silicon.

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