By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
For years since being launched in March 2001, OS X had been virtually untouchable by malware. Recent years, however, saw the rise in the number of malware strains targeting the system. This means that existing protection measures such as firewalls and security software are not enough for the job; you must also use additional tools like an Internet security VPN to improve your chances of staying secure.
Nine OS X malware strains to be wary of
XAgent used to only affect Windows, Android, Linux and iOS devices, but a new variant targeting OS X has been discovered just recently. As a backdoor, XAgent allows perpetrators to access higher user privileges on an infected device. This in turn enables them to execute code, steal sensitive information such as account usernames and passwords, and capture and obtain screenshots of desktops.
Discovered on March 4, 2016, the KeRanger trojan horse is among a number of ransomware strains known to be affecting OS X devices. Just like any ransomware, it scans files and folders and prevents victims from accessing the files via encryption. In exchange for the decryption key, the victim is asked to pay a fee of 1 Bitcoin. More than 7000 OS X users have been victimized by KeRanger so far.
FruitFly enables crooks to gain control of an infected OS X device. Discovered last month, it can connect an infected device to a command and control center, allowing the perpetrators to simulate mouse clicks and key presses and capture screengrabs, among a number of possibilities.
CoinThief was discovered in 2014 stealing money from victims. Upon infecting an OS X system, it will spy on the user’s web browsing traffic and access login credentials to steal Bitcoins from the user’s cryptowallet.
This highly invasive malware masquerading as a system cleaner can install itself on an OS X device without the user realizing it. It is said to be able to slow down systems and make them susceptible to crashes. It can also show scare ads, which in turn allows it to install more malicious software onto the device. It’s highly evasive and quite difficult to remove.
Like any modular backdoor, LaoShu allows perpetrators to steal user data from an infected device, including passwords and searches. LaoShu has been known to be circulating the web via scam emails that take the form of those sent for undelivered items, using the names of big courier brands like DHL and Royal Mail to trick users into downloading the infected file.
Another modular backdoor in this list is Ventir, which, just like XAgent and LaoShu, allows perpetrators to gain backdoor access to an infected device and can be exploited to monitor keystrokes and steal a user’s identity. It is said to circle peer-to-peer sites.
With multiple components and its ability to hide itself, WireLurker can stay in an OS X system undetected. What it really does, however, is wait for an iOS device to be connected to the system. It then steals the connected device’s serial number, phone number, iMessage info and address book, to be used for various purposes.
MacDefender, which also comes by the names MacProtector and MacSecurity, is a rogue security software. As such it, it can trick users into paying for fake malware removal tools by displaying fake scan results, infection messages and warnings. What’s worse, the fake malware removal tools are actually malware themselves, and the cycle goes on.
How Hotspot Shield Internet security VPN protects you from malware
Hotspot Shield is a free-download Internet security VPN that protects you from malware infections by notifying you if the website or link that you’re trying to visit is infected. It uses a database of more than 3.5 million known malware sites, which allows it to block these websites from being accessed by you. To learn more about Hotspot Shield and its benefits, visit our website.
If you want added malware protection for your OS X device, download Hotspot Shield Internet security VPN today!
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