Hackers are creating specific malware for Apple’s M1 chip


Launched at the end of last year by Apple, the M1 chip is already in the target of hackers. An independent digital security researcher published a report last Sunday (14) saying that he found what must be the first malware developed specifically for the new processor.

Patric Wardle, who programs free security tools, said he found a different version of adware for MacOs. The malicious application installs an extension for Safari and is an update to a program called “GoSearch22”.

Once installed, the adware collects browser data and displays pop-ups, coupons and advertising banners, according to the PC Risks website. “It looks like very simple adware,” said Wardle. “His main objective seems to be related to financial gain through advertisements and search results,” he added.

The expert warned, however, that it is possible for the developers of GoSearch22 to include more invasive and malicious functions in the future.

In the blog post, Wardle also explained that he managed to discover that the malware was developed specifically for the M1 because of the “arm64” code, which is part of the processor’s programming.

Close relationship

Another detail disclosed by Wardle is that the malicious extension GoSearch22 is a member of the Pirrit family of adware for Mac. The malware has been known to the community for bringing headaches for several years.

In 2016, cyber security researcher Amit Serper published several reports on Pirrit, pointing out that the software was not a new threat, but it was extremely persistent and complicated to be removed by ordinary computer users.

“This shows that the malware authors are evolving and adapting to keep up with Apple’s latest hardware and software,” published Wardle.