It’s been months since the first Macs with the Apple M1 chipset were released. During this time, many developers have released optimized versions of their applications for these devices. Now it has become known that malicious software has also appeared on Macs with an M1 chip.
In particular, Patrick Wardle, an information security researcher and founder of Objective-See, has published a recording in which he talked about how he searched for viruses optimized for the Apple M1 and why it is important.
During his virus hunt, Patrick used the VirusTotal app. An important point in the search for M1-optimized viruses was filtering out universal applications. He eventually found the GoSearch22 virus. Here is how to get rid of the GoSearch22 Virus (Mac).
Through several checks, Patrick confirmed that the malware was optimized to work with the M1 chip. GoSearch22 is part of the Pirrit adware group, which displays banners to users and monitors their activity. GoSearch22 is distributed as a Safari extension.
Interestingly, the first adware of the Pirrit family was discovered at the end of December. And the original developer’s signature for him was received in November. Now Apple has already revoked permissions for GoSearch22, but the very fact suggests that malware for Macs with M1 chips may have been in development for a long time. Wardle also notes that viruses are still in their early development stages, so scanners may not detect them as easily as versions for x86 processors.
Thus, even though Mac’s first viruses with the M1 chip do not pose a serious threat, users should still not forget about network security and install questionable software on their devices.