FruitFly Takes A Bite Out of Apple

 In Information Technology

Remember when Mac products said they were basically immune to malware? Well, they were sadly mistaken. Recently, a new undetectable piece of malware has emerged known as “FruitFly.” Malwarebytes, a security company, initially detected the malware six months ago, but researchers discovered a code modified to run on the Mac Yosemite operating system, which was released in October of 2014. Although it is unclear how long FruitFly has been in effect, it has recently become aware to Mac users all over the world what this program is actually capable of.

What is FruitFly?

New details reveal that the malicious program has the ability to take complete control of a Mac user’s entire computer. FruitFly is able to control webcam, open files, record keystrokes, and capture screenshots. It is unclear who is behind the creation of the malware program, but experts believe it is the work of a lone hacker looking to spy on people for “perverse” reasons. It is also unclear if the hacker is targeting individuals randomly or directly.  

How Does It Work?

FruitFly operates silently in the background by using a “backdoor” method that renders it completely undetectable to the user. According to Patrick Wardle, chief security researcher at Synack, there are multiple strains of FruitFly. While researching the damage of the malware program, Wardle discovered that it contains a different code on each strain. From the codes he decrypted, he discovered over 400 computers had been infected.

How Do I Prevent It?

In order to prevent FruitFly from wreaking havoc on your personal computer, Apple advises users to download and install Malwarebytes or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac. If you are still unsure if FruitFly is still on your computer or not, you should probably contact an IT professional to take care of the issue before it gets worse.

So the next time you think your Mac is incapable of obtaining malware, think twice. Although it is considerably less widespread than Windows, Mac malware still exists. Researchers have recorded a surge in Mac malware over the past few years noting that it will continue to increase in the future, and the discovery of FruitFly continues to validate this conclusion.

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