Following the first ever instance of mac ransomware, recently reported by Palo Alto Networks. A second piece of malware has been discovered in the wild. The malicious software dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor or OSX/Eleanor-A comes under the guise of a harmless file converter application and was readily available under a number of previously reputable download sites.
Bitdefender Labs explained in their report, that the software is embedded surreptitiously in the fake application EasyDoc Coverter.app. The application itself serves no functionality, posing as a drag and drop utility to facilitate simple file conversion.
The phoney application after installation
What’s under the hood instead is a malicious suite of services with the ability to steal data, execute malicious code and even control the infected machine’s web camera.
Bitdefender explained in their report: “The backdoor is embedded into a fake file converter application that is accessible online on reputable sites offering Mac applications and software. The EasyDoc Converter.app poses as a drag-and-drop file converter, but has no real functionality – it simply downloads a malicious script.This is a nasty backdoor that can steal data, execute remote code and access the webcam, among other things …”
Once initiated the application would install a hidden Tor service for Command and Control (C2) functionality, a web service as well as a Pastebin agent.
Once infected the Command and Control interface is used to manage the web service’s capabilities which amongst a plethora of other things allows for the use of Netcat, commonly known as ‘the hackers Swiss army knife’ and Wacaw, a command line tool which can be used for taking pictures and videos with your webcam.
Through this, the capabilities of the web service in particular grants functionality for a File Manager which can view, edit rename, upload and download files, allows command and script execution as well as offering bind and reverse shell connectivity, a simple packet crafter, the ability to connect and administer databases and even a process/task manager.
According to Bitdefender’s Tech Lead, Tiberius Axinte “This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it’s hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system. For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your private files or transform your laptop into a botnet to attack other devices. The possibilities are endless.”
The application however is not signed by an Apple developer ID which therefore means it won’t install unless you have allowed this specifically in your OS security settings.
Although this offers some protection, if a malicious player was able to get access to developer signed cryptographic keys then this thin layer wouldn’t offer the necessary levels of detection and prevention.