Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 11:15 AM EDT

MacOS Malware Update: ‘Snake’ Malware Lurks Behind Fake Adobe Flash Player Installer, How To Avoid It

May 08, 2017 06:24 AM EDT

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Most are under the impression that the machines less likely to be affected by malware are the ones running under the MacOS. There have been small instances of infections before and now there seems to be a new threat in the alleged “Snake” malware which hides behind fake Adobe Flash player installers.

According to the Fox-IT blog, the malicious MacOS malware was recently discovered and bypasses the Gatekeeper feature which came with the MacOS Lion. It does its mischief by injecting backdoor files into the MacOS file system which would eventually give them access to files and pass along sensitive materials.

The “Snake” malware thrives on the Gatekeeper’s certificate-based system which technically distinguishes which apps are secure and other programs that a user would want to install on his Mac. If the Gatekeeper certificate sees the app as legitimate, it would be inadvertently considered safe or trusted.

In such a scenario, the mischievous minds behind “Snake” may have easily stolen a certificate from a legitimate developer, Digital Trends reports. From there, one can easily see the risks involves – including placing a MacOS-powered device in a pretty compromising situation.

According to 9 to 5 Mac, the key program to watch out here is the Adobe Flash player, coming in the form of a Zip file (Adobe Flash Player.app.zip). The problem is that “Snake” doesn’t actually install the app but the backdoor code which sets up the compromised certificate.

Apple has been notified of the threat which could eventually lead them to revoke the certificate to the Gatekeeper system. There is no official word on that yet but it does prove that the MacOS is not entirely immune to malware threats.

The best thing to do now is to keep the Gatekeeper turns on and fully enabled. To avoid certificates from getting compromised, only install apps from known sources and don’t overlook the use of the anti-malware software.

Windows OS users have been constantly reminded about these issues and MacOS folks may want to practice due diligence. The potential may be low but one intrusion out of 100 can result in a disaster.

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