Cybersecurity firm, Red Canary, recently detected a malware they call Silver Sparrow that has infected about 30,000 Mac computers. At this point, security investigators have been unable to identify the purpose of the malware.
Investigators monitoring the malware say the code checks in with a control server once an hour for instructions but has yet to execute a payload. This leads experts to believe the malware is waiting for some unknown condition to be met before acting.
Another peculiar aspect of the malware is that it contains a self-destruct mechanism that is more often found in high-stealth campaigns. Also, the virus has a version that runs natively on Apple's recently released M1 chip. This has only been seen on one other malware aimed at Mac operating systems and makes it more difficult to discover.
Experts have identified this malware in 153 countries, with most infections occurring in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and Germany. Dan Goodin "New malware found on 30,000 Macs has security pros stumped" arstechnica.com (Feb. 20, 2021).