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Mac OS X Malware Soars in 2015

4/11/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Mac malware is set to accelerate over the coming months after having its most prolific year ever so far in 2015, according to new research from endpoint security firm Bit9 + Carbon Black.

After an analysis of the year so far, the vendor concluded that five times more Mac malware appeared in 2015 than the previous five years combined.   

It collected 1,400 unique samples over the period using custom built sandboxes and tools such as such as fs_usage, dtrace, and opensnoop.

It found that Mac malware as a whole does not borrow very heavily from Unix or Linux malware, which was unexpected given OS X’s roots in the open source FreeBSD.

Another interesting find was that more than 90% of the Mac malware it discovered still uses the old load command (LC_THREAD and LC_UNIXTHREAD) to define the entry point into the Mach-O format.

This makes it easier to spot potential malware—if a new system is still using the old command.

In addition, the Bit9 + Carbon Black researchers concluded that the vast majority of Mac malware uses one of just seven persistence techniques to remain on an infected system.

These include LaunchAgents; LaunchDaemons; Login items; Browser plugins; StartupItems; Binary infection; and Cron job.

It appears the growing prevalence of Mac malware is unsurprisingly linked to a rising market share among consumers and enterprises.

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Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP Recruitment, BI & Data Recruitment, Information Security Recruitment, Enterprise Architecture & Strategy Recruitment, Energy Technology Recruitment, Demand IT and Business Engagement Recruitment, Digital and E-commerce Recruitment, Leadership Talent, Infrastructure and Service Delivery Recruitment, Project and Programme Delivery Recruitment.

Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

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