Apple has recently de-notarized six malicious apps masquerading as Adobe Flash installers.
This was the 2nt time in the last 6 weeks that malware creators were successful in passing malicious apps posing as Flash installers through the Apple app notarization process.
Apple formally introduced its app notarization process in the beginning of this year. This recently introduced security protection process involves multiple security scans by Apple for verifying the authenticity of a new app submitted by Mac app developers.
Apps that are found non-malware in the notarization process are straight away added to the Apple GateKeeper whitelist. Users can simply install and open notarized apps as soon as the apps make it to the Apple GateKeeper security service whitelist.
App notarization is mandatory and Mac app developers will have to get their apps undergo through this security process for running them on the Apple’s recent macOS releases such as Big Sur and Catalina.
The intent behind introducing app notarization process was to identify and segregate the scanned apps into malicious and non-malicious categories. Apps that are found malicious are straight away rejected while the non-malicious are added to the GateKeeper security service whitelist.
However, the easy notarization of malicious apps posing at Adobe Flash installers has been an eye-opener for the Mac security personnel. Around 40 malicious apps have successfully got notarized and whitelisted on the Apple’s recent macOS versions.
The six malicious apps that were recently notarized are masquerading as Adobe Flash installers and these apps are ready for user installation. Upon installation, these apps can easily automatically download as well as install the MacOffers/OSX adware.
As soon as this matter came into Apple’s notice, their cyber team have been working day and night to get these apps de-notarized instantly. Apple has successfully de-notarized these malicious apps and is tracing the authenticity of other apps too.
Users are advised to refrain themselves from downloading Adobe Flash installers as Adobe is planning to roll out Flash by the end of 2020.
Conclusion: 6 malicious apps posing themselves as Adobe Flash installers successfully passed out the Apple app notarization process few backs back. These apps were infected with the BundleCore adware and the Shlayer Trojan that happens to be few of the most dangerous security threats faced by the Apple macOS platform for the past 2 years. Lately, Apple identified and has now de-notarized these malicious apps.