The first proprietary Apple Silicon M1 Mac SoC has already garnered praise upon praise from experts for its performance and security. However, an independent researcher recently discovered the first ever specially programmed malware for all Apple computers with this chip.
The expert in question is Patrick Wardle, a former NSA cybersecurity researcher who has discovered GoSearch22.app malware rather simple to operate, as it only deals with displaying ads on the device and collecting data from the browser used by the user.
Wardle said: “’The GoSearch22 malicious application may be the first code example compatible with M1 natively. The creation of such applications is notable for two main reasons: First, and unsurprisingly, this shows that malicious code continues to evolve in direct response to both hardware and software changes coming from Cupertino. Additionally, antivirus used to detect malware on Apple’s Intel-based Macs failed to detect GoSearch22.app on M1 models. […] What is not known is whether Apple has authenticated the code. We cannot answer this question, because Apple has revoked the certificate “.
At the moment it is not clear how many users were affected from the malware in question, as no one has reported specific issues to date involving unusual ads displayed on their Apple Silicon Macs.
Meanwhile, Cupertino would already be thinking about future of Apple branded proprietary chips: the first benchmarks of the “M1X” chipset with 12-core CPU and 16-core GPU have appeared online, for clock frequency at 3.2 GHz.