What is Silver Sparrow Malware and its impact on M1 Macs?

In a recent study, researchers found a new malware named Silver Sparrow infecting M1 Macs. Having infected little less than 30,000 Macs to date, the malware pushes Macs to check a control sever. However, the result is still unknown.

The preceding year, Apple introduced its new and robust range of M1-powered Macs. The first Apple Silicon SoC is based on widely acknowledged ARM-based mobile chips.

Since the very launch in 2020 fall, the new range started gathering remarkable attention, especially for its remarkable performance compared to Intel chips built on x86 that have been powering Macs since 2005.

First Malware found in M1 Macs

While introducing the M1 Macs, Cook emphasized its security, performance, and its pocket-friendly price. It was recently attacked by malware that infected 29,139 macOS devices worldwide and showed an equal impact on M1 and Intel Macs.

This isn’t the first time Mac systems experienced a Malware attack. In 2020 alone, there have been numerous malware attacks. Surprisingly, these accounted for 99% of mac malware detections, of which 80.65% were by OSX.Generic.Suspicious. But that’s not our concern for now. The immediate attention for the day is on Silver Sparrow.

What is Silver Sparrow Malware, and what it does?

According to researchers, Silver Sparrow includes codes that run on a recently released M1 chip. According to a new published on Ars Technica, this is the second known malware after the launch of M1 Macs in November.

However, researchers share they haven’t observed the malware delivering any additional payloads. Still, their concern is its compatibility with M1 Chip, and the high rate of infection indicates severe threats shortly.

Silver Sparrow has two versions;

Adding further to concern is that there is no firm information on how the malware got distributed despite the high infection rate.

As of February 17, its impact could be noticed across 153 countries with significant impact in the UK, US, France, Canada, and Germany. The infections range from Mac Mini to the latest MacBook Pro.

Are M1 Macs really secured?

Going with the study presented to date, it does not provide any harm initially and sits silently in your system until its operator gives it a new command. However, this doesn’t indicate that there’s no potential risk. When discovered for the first time, researchers found that it is built using cutting-edge technology. You can have a detailed report here.

Acknowledging that Cook claimed M1 macs to be the most secure MacBooks ever introduced, the malware attack has indeed raised the brows of many.

However, Apple didn’t delay and shared its security report a day after this attack. Though this isn’t enough to gain back complete trust, analysts find this part of the tech world and hope soon there will be a solution. Amidst all this, the question comes;

Should you buy M1 Mac?

Malware attacks are pretty standard. Well, that doesn’t mean I’m being partial and don’t acknowledge the concern linked with user security.

However, I also won’t deny that M1-powered Macs are mighty compared to those housed with traditional Intel chips. Besides, they featured a significant hike in battery backup and also hardware integration.

Acknowledging all these, in my personal opinion, M1 Mac is still worth a buy, being much better and secure compared to those available in the market. In case you have any further questions, you can check out Apple M1 Chip FAQs.



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