Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Jul 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by Hartley Charlton

A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer).


Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. The malware was discovered by security researchers at Check Point Software.

A server hosting the macOS version of XLoader is available to bad actors on the dark web for $49 per month. Check Point tracked XLoader for a six-month period, seeing requests from 69 countries, indicating significant use across the world. More than half of all victims were based in the United States.

Formbook continues to be a prevalent threat, being part of over 1,000 malware campaigns in the last three years, and XLoader is expected to have even wider use given its cross-platform capability and greater level of sophistication.

Head of Cyber Research at Check Point, Yaniv Balmas, said that macOS's growing popularity has exposed it to increasing attention from cybercriminals, who see the platform as a worthwhile target.

While there might be a gap between Windows and macOS malware, the gap is slowly closing over time. The truth is that macOS malware is becoming bigger and more dangerous.

According to Check Point, XLoader is stealthy enough for it to remain hidden to most users. It is possible to check for its presence by using macOS's Autorun to check the username in the OS and look into the LaunchAgents folder, where entries with suspicious filenames should be deleted.

Tag: malware

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago

No matter what these Mac’s are protected. Let’s be real here.
I know we should all know this but for everyone in the room, Mac's have always been able to get a virus. They were such a small subset of the computing world the payoff wasn't huge. Things have changed with the more mainstream adoption of Macs and now it's open season for the bad guys.
Score: 33 Votes
2 weeks ago
How does one get this malware? Important to know one has it but how did one get it just as important.
Rating: 24 Votes
2 weeks ago

It is possible to check for its presence by using macOS's Autorun to check the username in the OS and look into the LaunchAgents folder, where entries with suspicious filenames should be deleted.
Can somebody explain what this means?

Edit: found a LaunchAgents folder in the library. Don't understand what AutoRun is
Rating: 23 Votes
2 weeks ago

Infection path would be good information.

Also, I generally find LittleSnitch to be a great defense against this kind of thing (as long as the virus doesn't disable it). It may still exist, but you can identify it by network access.

Can somebody explain what this means?

Edit: found a LaunchAgents folder in the library. Don't understand what AutoRun isFound something at 9to5mac
Found something at 9to5mac

1. Go to /Users/[username]/Library/LaunchAgents directory
2. Check for suspicious filenames in this directory (example below is a random name)

/Users/user/Library/LaunchAgents/com.wznlVRt83Jsd.HPyT0b4Hwxh.plist

if there is a file named like above, it's very likely you have been infected
Rating: 22 Votes
2 weeks ago
So XProtect gets new definitions and this becomes a non-issue...
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago
No matter what these Mac’s are protected. Let’s be real here.

When was the last time you encountered your Mac got a virus?
Rating: 13 Votes

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