Researchers create first firmware worm that attacks Macs remotely and silently

Clara Guibourg
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Researchers say it's a "throw-your-machine-away kind of situation" (Source: Getty)

Mac users beware: You're no longer immune.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Macs are more secure than PCs. But researchers have just dealt this truth a hefty blow, after they created the first firmware worm that can attack Mac computers.

The accepted wisdom is that computers running Windows are more exposed to attacks, but a new study shows Macs are exposed to the same vulnerabilities already known to affect PC firmware, reports Wired magazine.

Researchers have created malware that can remotely and silently infect Macs, spreading the attack from computer to computer without them needing to be networked.

A link click on a malicious site or a phishing email would be enough to expose the victim’s computer to malware that permanently infects it. Reinstalling the system wouldn’t get rid of it.

Researcher Zeno Kovah told Wired it’s a “throw-your-machine-away kind of situation”:

[The attack is] really hard to detect, it’s really hard to get rid of, and it’s really hard to protect against something running inside the firmware.

The researchers have alerted Apple about the issue, and the company has released a partial patch to it.

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