Mac Malware Used in Attacks Targeting Industrial Organizations in Middle East

A malicious campaign focused on the industrial sector in the Middle East has been expanded to also target Mac computers, security researchers at Kaspersky have discovered.

Dubbed WildPressure, the campaign started in May 2019 and for more than a year it involved only a Windows version of a malware named Milum. Earlier this year, however, the campaign’s operators started using new versions of the Trojan, to target macOS systems as well.

In addition to the initially observed C++ iteration of the threat, the researchers discovered a corresponding Visual Basic Script (VBScript) variant that had the same version, but which came with a series of modules, including an orchestrator and three plugins.

Additionally, Kaspersky’s security researchers identified a malware variant written in Python, which can run on both Windows and macOS operating systems. All three Trojan iterations feature similar coding style, design, and command and control (C&C) communication protocol.

“All three versions of the Trojan were able to download and execute commands from the operator, collect information, and upgrade themselves to a newer version,” Kaspersky told SecurityWeek. The malware is believed to still be under active development.

The adversary conducted the recently observed attacks using an infrastructure consisting of virtual private servers (VPS) and compromised servers, mostly WordPress websites.

According to Kaspersky, the new WildPressure activity seems focused on targets in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East. However, the security firm did not attribute the attacks to any known threat actor operating in the area, despite minor similarities to hacking groups such as Chafer and Ferocious Kitten.

Related: Iran-Linked ZeroCleare Wiper Targets Energy, Industrial Sectors in Middle East

Related: New Backdoor Attacks Leverage Political Turmoil in Middle East

Related: Oil and Gas Sector in Middle East Hit by Serious Security Incidents

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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