In a startling revelation, cybersecurity firm Guardz has uncovered a new and sophisticated malware specifically targeting Mac computers. The malware, known as Hidden Virtual Network Computer (HVNC), was found lurking on the Dark Web after Guardz sought assistance from ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI. This discovery has raised concerns as Macs, historically less prone to cyber threats, now face an increasing risk of attack.
The HVNC, being sold by Russian hackers, has proven its efficacy by gaining unauthorized access to Macs, particularly those used in small to medium-sized businesses. Once infiltrated, the malware can stealthily steal crucial information, including login credentials, potentially leaving businesses and individuals vulnerable to data breaches.
Guardz’s team, upon learning about the HVNC’s existence through their interaction with ChatGPT, has revealed that the hackers have deposited a staggering $100,000 in an escrow account as evidence of the malware’s capabilities. For a lifetime price of $60,000, malicious actors can obtain this sophisticated tool, capable of running undetected on several macOS versions.
One of the most alarming aspects of HVNC is its ability to create a hidden user session on the Mac, completely invisible to the device’s owner. Furthermore, the malware operates in stealth mode, evading detection from typical security tools employed to protect Macs. Even restarting the computer proves futile in removing the malware, necessitating a complete wipeout of the Mac, albeit at the risk of losing essential data.
Guardz’s blog post emphasizes the growing trend of malware development for macOS, indicating a shift in cybercriminals’ focus towards Macs as they adopt an ‘Attack-as-a-Service’ business model. This alarming development exposes businesses and individuals to heightened risks of cyberattacks and data theft.
To safeguard against such threats, Guardz recommends regularly updating Macs to the latest version and adopting good cybersecurity practices, such as avoiding opening emails from untrustworthy sources and refraining from installing apps outside of Apple’s official Mac App Store.
In light of this new revelation, Mac users are urged to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect their devices and data from potential cyber threats.