Cybersecurity researchers have found a brand new Apple macOS backdoor known as SpectralBlur that overlaps with a identified malware household that has been attributed to North Korean risk actors.
“SpectralBlur is a reasonably succesful backdoor that may add/obtain recordsdata, run a shell, replace its configuration, delete recordsdata, hibernate, or sleep, based mostly on instructions issued from the [command-and-control] server,” safety researcher Greg Lesnewich said.
The malware shares similarities with KANDYKORN (aka SockRacket), a complicated implant that features as a distant entry trojan able to taking management of a compromised host.
It is value noting that the KANDYKORN exercise additionally intersects with one other marketing campaign orchestrated by the Lazarus sub-group often called BlueNoroff (aka TA444) which culminates within the deployment of a backdoor known as RustBucket and a late-stage payload dubbed ObjCShellz.
In current months, the risk actor has been noticed combining disparate items of those two an infection chains, leveraging RustBucket droppers to ship KANDYKORN.
The newest findings are one other signal that North Korean risk actors are more and more setting their sights on macOS to infiltrate high-value targets, notably these inside the cryptocurrency and the blockchain industries.
“TA444 retains working quick and livid with these new macOS malware households,” Lesnewich mentioned.
Safety researcher Patrick Wardle, who shared additional insights into the inside workings of SpectralBlur, mentioned the Mach-O binary was uploaded to the VirusTotal malware scanning service in August 2023 from Colombia.
The useful similarities between KANDYKORN and SpectralBlur have raised the likelihood that they might have been constructed by totally different builders maintaining the identical necessities in thoughts.
What makes the malware stand out are its makes an attempt to hinder evaluation and evade detection whereas utilizing grantpt to arrange a pseudo-terminal and execute shell instructions obtained from the C2 server.
The disclosure comes as a complete of 21 new malware households designed to focus on macOS methods, together with ransomware, data stealers, distant entry trojans, and nation-state-backed malware, have been found in 2023, up from 13 identified in 2022.
“With the continued development and recognition of macOS (particularly within the enterprise!), 2024 will certainly convey a bevy of latest macOS malware,” Wardle noted.