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New malware strain alerts researchers

A mystery strain of malware has been discovered on almost 30,000 Mac devices, including those with Apple’s new M1 chip.

user icon Liam Garman
Thu, 25 Feb 2021
New malware strain alerts researchers
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The origins and aim of the malware, nicknamed Silver Sparrow, remain a mystery to researchers who are desperately trying to ascertain the genesis of the infection.

Silver Sparrow is only the second strain of malware that has been discovered that can impact the new M1 chip, raising suspicion surrounding the sophistication and goal of the mystery malware.

At the time of the research, the malware had yet to undertake known malicious actions on the devices.


“We have no way of knowing with certainty what payload would be distributed by the malware, if a payload has already been delivered and removed, or if the adversary has a future timeline for distribution,” noted the research from Red Canary.

Researchers have so far revealed that upon discovery by the user, the malware displays a message.

For those older Macs that have been infected, the message reads “Hello world”, whereas the newer version of malware (which impacts the M1 chip) reads the message “You did it!”.

The sophistication of the malware has alerted researchers around the world.

[Related: APV to beef up cyber infrastructure]

Liam Garman

Liam Garman

Liam Garman is the editor of leading Australian security and defence publications Cyber Daily and Defence Connect. 

Liam began his career as a speech writer at New South Wales Parliament before working for world leading campaigns and research agencies in Sydney and Auckland. Throughout his career, Liam has managed and executed a range of international media and communications campaigns spanning politics, business, industrial relations and infrastructure. He’s since shifted his attention to researching and writing extensively on geopolitics and defence, specifically in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Strategy and Security from UNSW Canberra, with a thesis on postmodernism and disinformation operations. 

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