Malware has always been less common on Apple’s hardware and devices but in recent years, the threat has become mainstream. The situation has become even more alarming now that malware is targeting Apple’s new M1 chip, which released only a few months ago.
This new type of malware is tailored for Apple’s new ARM-based M1 processor featured on the 2020 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini released in November.
Mac security researcher Patrick Wardle spotted this malware on a Safari adware extension last week. This malware was originally written for Intel x86 chips but has been reprogrammed to target the M1 chips instead. The extension is known as GoSearch22 and is a part of the infamous Pirrit Mac adware family.
Patrick Wardle commented on this ill development saying:
This shows that malware authors are evolving and adapting to keep up with Apple’s latest hardware and software. As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve seen this.
Wardle added that the malware was signed with an Apple developer ID, a paid account that keeps track of all iOS and Mac developers. Apple has declined to comment on any of this but has since revoked the GoSearch22 certificate.