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First Mac malware based on Apple M1 SoC discovered

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Apple M1X SoC is comparable to GeForce GTX 1070 in performance

According to a report published by Mac security researcher Patrick Wardle, the first malicious software designed specifically for Macs based on the Apple M1 SoC has surfaced on the Web.

Wardle discovered that the first native malware, M1, spreads via an extension for Safari. The malicious extension is called GoSearch22 and is part of the Pirrit adware for Mac. The malware was first noticed at the end of December last year.

Pirrit is one of the oldest and most active Mac adware software that continually adapts to avoid detection. GoSearch22 adware monitors and collects user data and displays a large number of advertisements such as banners and pop-ups. Some of these pop-ups are associated with other malicious websites that spread other malware.

The adware was signed with Apple’s developer ID in November 2020, Wardle said, but has since been withdrawn. He also added that since the malware for the Apple M1 is still fairly recent, it is not easy for antivirus software to detect. The specialist added that more such malicious programs will appear in the near future.

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