What’s Going On?
A new instance of Mac cryptominer malware which forces infected machines to mine the cryptocurrency Monero has been identified this week.
Why Does It Matter?
Leading security company Malwarebytes said the offending code uses an older version of the legitimate XMRig miner to create Monero cryptocurrency for the hacker.
Malwarebytes Director of Mac & Mobile at Malwarebytes Thomas Reed said: “Affected users saw their fans whirring out of control and a process named ‘mshelper’ gobbling up CPU time like Cookie Monster. Fortunately, this malware is not very sophisticated and is easy to remove.”
Malwarebytes has not yet gotten to the bottom of the infection, but past examples include fake Adobe Flash Player installers and other downloaded software, reported CoinDesk. The malware became public knowledge in a post on Apple’s discussion forums.
Reed said: “This malware is not particularly dangerous, unless your Mac has a problem like damaged fans or dust-clogged vents that could cause overheating. Although the mshelper process is actually a legitimate piece of software being abused, it should still be removed along with the rest of the malware.”
Mac cryptomining malware has been on the rise recently, just as in the Windows world,” said Reed. “This malware follows other cryptominers for macOS, such as Pwnet, CpuMeaner, and CreativeUpdate. I’d rather be infected with a cryptominer than some other kind of malware, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.”