Atomic Stealer malware strikes macOS through faux browser updates

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macOS in a storm

The ‘ClearFake’ faux browser replace marketing campaign has expanded to macOS, concentrating on Apple computer systems with Atomic Stealer (AMOS) malware.

The ClearFake marketing campaign began in July this 12 months to focus on Home windows customers with faux Chrome replace prompts that seem on breached websites through JavaScript injections. 

In October 2023, Guardio Labs found a big growth for the malicious operation, which leveraged Binance Good Chain contracts to cover its malicious scripts supporting the an infection chain within the blockchain.

By way of this method, dubbed “EtherHiding,” the operators distributed Home windows-targeting payloads, together with information-stealing malware like RedLine, Amadey, and Lumma.

Increasing to macOS

On November 17, 2023, menace analyst Ankit Anubhav reported that ClearFake had began pushing DMG payloads to macOS customers visiting compromised web sites.

Malwarebytes report from earlier this week confirms this growth, reporting that these assaults make use of a Safari replace bait together with the usual Chrome overlay.

Fake update overlay targeting macOS users
Pretend replace overlay concentrating on macOS customers
Supply: Malwarebytes

The payload dropped in these instances is Atomic, an info-stealing malware offered to cybercriminals through Telegram channels for $1,000/month.

Atomic stealer disguised as a Safari update
Atomic stealer disguised as a Safari replace
Supply: Malwarebytes

Atomic was found in April 2023 by Trellix and Cyble, who reported that it makes an attempt to steal passwords, cookies, and bank cards saved in browsers, native recordsdata, knowledge from over 50 cryptocurrency extensions, and keychain passwords.

The keychain password is macOS’ built-in password supervisor that holds WiFi passwords, web site logins, bank card knowledge, and different encrypted info, so its compromise may end up in a big breach for the sufferer.

Malwarebyte’s examination of the payload’s strings reveals a sequence of instructions for extracting delicate knowledge like passwords and concentrating on doc recordsdata, pictures, crypto pockets recordsdata, and keys.

String of commands in Atomic's code
String of instructions in Atomic’s code
Supply: Malwarebytes

The ClearFake marketing campaign now concentrating on Macs is a reminder for Apple customers to strengthen their safety and watch out with downloads, particularly prompts to replace your browser when visiting web sites.

Even after a number of months following the invention and reviews on Atomic, the payload is undetected by roughly 50% of AV engines on VirusTotal.

Moreover, all Safari browser updates will likely be distributed by means of macOS’s Software program Replace, or for different browsers, inside the browser itself.

Due to this fact, if you happen to see any prompts to obtain browser updates on web sites, they need to be ignored.

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