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1 in 10 Macs Have Been Infected With the Shlayer Trojan Virus

trojan hacking illustration with laptop and red sign on laptop screen with binary code as background vector
black apple computers logo in the center of a red and orange background

1 in 10 Mac computers have been found to have the Shlayer Trojan Virus

Many people assume that the Mac platform is invincible to malware and trojan viruses, but that’s not the complete truth. While Mac’s have been proven to at times be better protected than a machine running windows, there are still vulnerabilities that can be exploited. According to Kapersky, ” “In 2019, one in ten of our Mac security solutions encountered this malware at least once, and it accounts for almost 30% of all detections for this OS,”.

What is the Shlayer Trojan Virus?

Shlayer is an Apple-specific Trojan virus designed to steal your information, launch malicious advertisements on your machine, and even allow access to your encrypted information. Traditional malware is spread through the use of phishing techniques or direct links to malicious software. Shlayer is a different breed, and focuses on targeting popular events, television shows, links within YouTube videos, and there have even been dangerous links found within Wikipedia articles.

How does it work?

Website disguising free viewing for a popular tv show

Say you’re minding your own business and would like to somehow watch the newest episode of your favorite TV show, but here’s the problem – You don’t have access to the legitimate channel the show airs on. Many people will often do a quick internet search to find a way to view the program for free. More often than not, the ‘free’ website promoting your favorite program is actually a malicious website disguising the intention of gaining access to your information. When a user clicks on the link, they will attempt to play the video. Once the video is clicked, a message will appear stating that they must update their Flash Player in order to view the video. As soon as the user installs the fake update, their computer will immediately be infected with the Shlayer Trojan Virus.

After the fraudulent Flash Player update has finished installing, there will be an offer to install the BlueStacks App Player – Even if the infected individual clicks ‘skip’ on the installation of this software, it is already too late and their Mac has been infected with the Shlayer Trojan.

What happens next?

After the successful installation of the trojan virus, a malicious browser extension will automatically be installed on your computer. This extension will then monitor your search and browsing history, while redirecting you to other search engines. The most dangerous part about the Shlayer Trojan Virus is the fact that threat actors can access your encrypted information such as; online banking information, login details for emails, and other secure activity. This is an especially frightening concept because hackers will have complete access to all of your personal and private data. In addition to the theft of your personal information, this malware will also inject advertisements and scripts into any web page that you view.

How can you protect yourself?

The best way to protect yourself from malware, including the Schlayer Trojan Virus, is to have a reliable antivirus in place. Couple this with educated web searching behaviors and you will greatly decrease your odds of an attack. If for any reason you stumble across a website that is asking you to install an update, leave the website immediately. As always, contact TRACKtown Computer Services for any of your CyberSecurity needs by simply dropping us a line at (541) 255-3900 or emailing us at info@TRACKtowncomputers.com.