Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a mystery.

mac security privacy
Nonetheless, Apple has since informed MacRumors that it has revoked the certificates of the developer accounts used to sign the packages, preventing additional Macs from being infected. Apple also reiterated that Red Canary found no evidence to suggest the malware has delivered a malicious payload to Macs that have already been infected.

For software downloaded outside of the Mac App Store, Apple said it has "industry-leading" mechanisms in place to protect users by detecting malware and blocking it so it cannot run. Since February 2020, for example, Apple has required all Mac software distributed with a Developer ID outside of the Mac App Store to be submitted to Apple's notary service, an automated system that scans for malicious content and code-signing issues.

Malware targeting M1 Macs has simply been compiled to run natively on the Arm-based architecture of the M1 chip, now that Intel-based Macs are slowly being phased out. For more details about the "Silver Sparrow" malware, read our earlier coverage.

Top Rated Comments

Brian Y Avatar
18 months ago
This is going to end up the same way as all DRM - inconveniencing genuine users whilst bad guys find ways around it.

If Apple really had automated detection and scanning, how did it manage to infect so many machines?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacSince1985 Avatar
18 months ago
Red Canary vs. Silver Sparrow. It's time to call in reinforcement from Purple Owl and Green Chickadee!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
18 months ago
More importantly, how do you detect it and remove it?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kazgarth Avatar
18 months ago
They should include something like Windows Defender to allow the user to scan his system files on demand, when in doubt.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
18 months ago
Something tells me that the issue, deep down, is not solved. Yeah, Apple has revoqued the certificate, so then what? Can this happen again? I’d say yes...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PJWilkin Avatar
18 months ago

The police doesn't deal with these types of matters. It requires a higher authority.
The Vatican ? ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

mac studio ssd

Mac Studio Storage Not User-Upgradeable Due to Software Block [Updated]

Monday March 21, 2022 8:40 am PDT by
Update: The Mac Studio requires an IPSW restore after changing its SSD modules to ensure that they are readable and able to boot. Running a Device Firmware Update (DFU) restore using the macOS IPSW package for the Mac Studio should enable the machine to boot from a different SSD, providing that both of the modules are of the same size and make, meaning that storage upgrades still appear to be...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Developing 'Mac Studio,' Described as a Mac Mini and Mac Pro Hybrid

Friday March 4, 2022 9:19 am PST by
Apple is working on a "Mac Studio" device that seems to be a cross between a Mac Pro and a Mac mini, according to a report from 9to5Mac that cites an unspecified source with knowledge of Apple's plans. The device is "in addition" to the rumored Mac mini and Mac Pro, but primarily based on the Mac mini. It will feature "much more powerful hardware" and there are two versions in development....
mac mini quinn nelson

YouTuber Modifies M1 Mac Mini to Be 78% Smaller

Wednesday March 2, 2022 5:06 am PST by
A YouTuber has successfully made the M1 Mac mini 78% smaller and added MagSafe in a unique DIY project, highlighting Apple's iterative approach to the current entry-level Mac mini ahead of the expected launch of a redesigned high-end model. When Apple introduced the M1 Mac mini in November 2020, it retained the exact same unibody design that the company has used since 2010. Subsequent teardow...
2019 mac pro side and front

Apple Teases Apple Silicon Mac Pro at Spring Event

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:52 am PST by
The Mac Studio that was introduced today may be as powerful as the current Mac Pro, but Apple made it clear that the device is not intended to be a Mac Pro replacement. Apple senior vice president of Hardware Engineering John Ternus teased a new Apple silicon Mac Pro on stage at today's event to address any confusion about the company's Mac Pro plans. When talking about the transition...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

First M2 Macs Expected to Launch Later This Year Using TSMC's 4nm Chip Process

Thursday March 10, 2022 7:30 am PST by
Apple plans to launch a series of Macs with M2 chips based on TSMC's 4nm process later this year, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. This advancement should allow for continued performance and power efficiency improvements. "TSMC's 4nm process will also build Apple's M2 chip that will power the new Mac series slated for launch in the second half of this year," the report claims. ...
aws ec2 m1 mac mini

Amazon's EC2 Service to Offer M1 Mac Mini Instances for Faster Build Times

Thursday December 2, 2021 9:43 am PST by
Amazon today announced that its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service is now offering a "preview" of M1 Mac mini instances in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions of U.S. East and U.S. West, with other regions to be available when the instances are fully released. An "instance" is a virtual server available for rent through Amazon's EC2 service for running apps on AWS infrastructure....
mac studio renders Large

Alleged 'Mac Studio' Renders Surface Ahead of Tomorrow's 'Peek Performance' Apple Event

Monday March 7, 2022 7:07 am PST by
Renders alleged to be the "Mac Studio," described as a hybrid between a Mac Pro and Mac mini, have surfaced online just a day before Apple holds its "Peek Performance" event, where at least one new Mac is expected to be announced. The renders were shared by YouTuber Luke Miani, and shows a design similar to the Mac mini, with a very similar footprint but approximately four-inches tall...
m2 feature purple

Evidence of M2 Apple Silicon Chip Spotted Ahead of Apple Event on Tuesday

Sunday March 6, 2022 6:39 am PST by
Evidence that Apple is testing the M2 Apple silicon chip, expected to debut first in a new MacBook Air and refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, has been spotted by a developer ahead of Tuesday's "Peek performance" Apple event. As reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter, a "developer source" has informed him that in recent weeks, Apple has been testing a chip with an...

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
m1 mac mini screen

Gurman: Apple Planning M2 Pro Mac Mini, New Apple TV With A14 Chip, Revamped HomePod With S8 Chip, and More

Sunday June 26, 2022 6:31 am PDT by
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman outlined additional M2 Macs on Apple's product roadmap, including new Mac mini models with M2 and M2 Pro chips, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and a new Mac Pro tower with M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" chips. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the first M3 series of...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...
widgets ios 16 feature

Gurman: iPhone 14 Pro to Feature Always-On Display Showing iOS 16's New Lock Screen Widgets

Sunday June 26, 2022 7:36 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro models are widely expected to feature always-on displays that allow users to view glanceable information without having to tap to wake the screen. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman said the feature will include support for iOS 16's new Lock screen widgets for weather, fitness, and more. "Like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be...