OFFICIAL SECURITY BLOG

We’ve moved! You can now read the latest and greatest on Mac adware and malware at Malwarebytes.

e-biohazard DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE exploit found in the wild

Posted on August 4th, 2015 at 9:47 AM EDT

Adam Thomas, a researcher at Malwarebytes, discovered a new adware installer yesterday that is using the DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE exploit, discovered last month, to install itself with root privileges.

The full story can be found on Malwarebytes Unpacked.

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e-biohazard Fake Safari update installs MacKeeper, ZipCloud

Posted on August 3rd, 2015 at 9:16 AM EDT

A couple weeks ago, we discovered a new version of the InstallCore installer that displays an unpleasant new trick: it pretends to be a Safari update!

The full story can be found on Malwarebytes Unpacked.

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warning Privilege escalation vulnerability found in OS X

Posted on August 3rd, 2015 at 9:14 AM EDT

Security researcher Stefan Esser published the details of a vulnerability in OS X a few weeks ago that allows an attacker to gain root privileges.

The full story can be found on Malwarebytes Unpacked.

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MBAM-Logo-Icon-128 Introducing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac

Posted on July 15th, 2015 at 10:09 AM EDT

As faithful readers will know, my name is Thomas Reed, and I have been the sole owner of The Safe Mac and creator of the anti-adware program AdwareMedic for a few years now.

In March, I was contacted by Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, who expressed interest in the things I had been doing. The timing could not have been better, and I’m pleased to say that AdwareMedic and The Safe Mac are now owned by Malwarebytes, and I’m now the Director of Mac Offerings at Malwarebytes. Given the Malwarebytes philosophy of taking a hard stance against adware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), and their commitment to offering free consumer versions of their products, the fit could not have been any better!

I’m excited to announce that, today, we’re rolling out our flagship Mac product: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac. This is an improved, but still largely familiar, update of AdwareMedic, and it will be free for all consumers. I’m even more excited when I think about plans for the future, which will include rounding out Malwarebytes’ offerings with other Mac products, providing features like efficient real-time protection, anti-exploit protection and enterprise-friendly capabilities.

I think that, together with Malwarebytes, we can make Mac anti-malware software better, and that’s going to be important in the years ahead!

I will also be continuing to write about Mac security issues, as part of a team of other great, award-winning writers, on the Malwarebytes Unpacked blog. Although I won’t be posting new content on The Safe Mac, it won’t be going away; it’s just changing form.

I’m looking forward to working with Malwarebytes to protect and educate Mac users. I hope you’ll join us!

To celebrate the launch of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac, we’re giving away a MacBook Air. You can enter here to win!

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info Is downloading from the developer’s site safe?

Posted on June 29th, 2015 at 9:16 AM EDT

You should only download software directly from the site of the developer who created the software. This has been a bit of standard advice given by security people like myself when trying to help people understand what to download and what not to download. It’s good advice, right? Well… mostly, but not entirely, unfortunately.
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adware Genieo changing its name?

Posted on June 19th, 2015 at 9:19 AM EDT

Earlier this month, I wrote about how new variants of the Genieo adware are proliferating. Now, however, it looks like Genieo may be changing its name. A new site, for an app called InKeepr, appears to be poised to take Genieo’s place, perhaps because of all the negative name recognition now associated with the Genieo name.
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warning Multiple vulnerabilities found in Mac OS X

Posted on June 17th, 2015 at 3:30 PM EDT

A group of six researchers at several universities in the US and China published a paper last weekend revealing the details of several different vulnerabilities in Mac OS X. These vulnerabilities all provide ways for a malicious app to gain access to data from another app. Frighteningly, these vulnerabilities can be exploited from a Mac App Store app, and can even allow an attacker to gain access to keychain entries!
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warning Tor Browser false positive

Posted on June 8th, 2015 at 8:07 AM EDT

A reader yesterday brought to my attention that his web browser was alerting him that The Safe Mac is trying to extract HTML5 canvas image data, with a scary-sounding warning that this could be used to identify the computer. Of course, I knew that this site does no such thing. Which left me questioning what browser was making this claim, and why?
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adware Genieo adware proliferating

Posted on June 7th, 2015 at 9:00 AM EDT

In recent months, several new variants of the Genieo adware have crossed my path. This adware is still pulling many of the same tricks – changing the search engine to Bing, and installing all kinds of junk that runs in the background and modifies browser behavior. However, it’s now using a variety of different names, perhaps in an attempt to make detection more difficult.
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Vulnerability could allow malware to change firmware

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 at 11:15 AM EDT

Last Friday, Pedro Vilaca announced the discovery of a vulnerability in the firmware of many Macs that would allow a piece of software to make changes to the firmware. In theory, this makes it possible for malware to permanently infect your Mac, by adding malicious code to the firmware.
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