Apple Computer Virus: Vicious Malware Freezes PCs, Crashes iTunes & Dupes UsersBy Staff Writer, UniversityHerald Reporter
Some Apple computers are being affected with a new nasty malware. The virus is acquired by visiting a certain website.
The website is embedded on a link in a fake email, the cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes reported last week. Upon clicking the link via the Safari browser, Apple PC users are redirected to a website that loads malicious code onto the computers based on the version of the devices' operating systems.
The malware causes either of the two actions: In one case, the malware opens the Apple computer's iTunes program to launch multiple times without closing. This crashes the program.
Another case causes the computer's Apple email client to create a flood of draft emails with the subject line "Warning! Virus Detected!" The emails aren't sent to any address, but the flood eats up the computer's memory and freezes it in the process.
To make things worse, the malware provides an Apple support number in either the email draft or on iTunes to fix the problem. The support number is false, and it's possible that the number is owned by a person pretending to be an Apple employee and will charge for money to "repair" the PC. Check out screenshots of the email containing the malware below.
Tech support scam for iOS with season's colours (safari-get[.]com). pic.twitter.com/xtTBCISNRp
— Jérôme Segura (@jeromesegura) December 24, 2016
#TechSupportScam page triggers denial-of-service attack on #Macs | Malwarebytes Labs https://t.co/MtxScsDsam #cybersecurity by @jeromesegura pic.twitter.com/gMzap5PojC — Malwarebytes (@Malwarebytes) January 5, 2017
Fortunately, Apple's iPhones and iPads aren't affected by the malware because they have a different operating system than the one that the computers have, Fortune reported. PCs that are running macOS Sierra 10.12.2, Apple's latest version of the operating system, don't seem to be affected by the malware attack. Users are advised to patch their computers to boost their protection against the virus, according to ZDNet.
The new Apple malware is akin to a Microsoft Windows virus that impacted computers in November 2016. The malware's Windows version targeted the software language HTML5, which is used to make websites.
The malware caused Google Chrome, Firefox and other web browsers to show a false help-support webpage that users can't close. Affected computers also overload so other programs can't be opened and like in Apple, a bogus telephone number was displayed for users to call.
In July 2016, a Mac ransomware named Backdoor.MAC.Elanor also affected Apple. The malware stole data, access the webcam and implement remote code, among others, 9to5 Mac reported.
The malware was hard to detect and gives the attacker full control of the affected device. Users can be locked out of their laptop and get threatened or blackmailed by the attacker.