Apple’s Mac devices are preferred mainly because they carry lesser vulnerabilities compared to the traditional PC desktop. This has been a long-running debate, though the keyword here is "less vulnerable." In hindsight, that could hold up. But, as far as malware and/or vulnerabilities are concerned, iMacs or MacBooks are definitely not exempt for unwarranted intrusions. To illustrate, there is that celebrated malware called “Fruitfly” which initially caused a stir earlier this year.

Fruitfly is simple but deadly

Macs are the new target of hackers, most trying to bring down the belief that Apple’s machines are hard to crack.

There have been several attempts but perhaps the most celebrated one is this so-called “Fruitfly” malware. First reported by Malwarebytes back in January, “Fruitfly” is a Mac-focused malware that clears the path for hackers by giving them access to the computer’s files, screens, and webcam. They get full access and control over the machine, all done with owners unaware.

Apple was made aware of the threat and eventually patched it up not long after. However, it seems that the malware is still stubbornly around. To figure out if the exploit is still something to worry about, former NSA hacker and current security officer Patrick Wardle gave his take on the issue.

According to Wardle, “Fruitfly” is not that sophisticated but may place Macs in a compromising position. It inadvertently acts like a beacon, informing hackers that their targets are active on select machines.

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With fair warning, it serves as a signal for hackers to know when to strike.

Many are infected

Other than that, Wardle added that there are machines infected with the malware, adding that he even knows their IP addresses and names. While he didn’t specifically dig into the numbers, it appears that many are plagued by it and that it has been around for more than five years.

The bottom line here is that despite the belief by most that Macs are safer, they are not entirely exempt from threats. The fact that there is no clear way to tell (for now) who is infected by “Fruitfly” may be a wake-up call for Mac owners to be more careful with files they get or download.

It remains to be seen if Apple will release yet another patch to take down the simple but deadly malware following the revelation of Wardle. So far, there have been no reported issues tied to it. But the fact that hackers can easily perform their dirty work with users unaware is already a disturbing reality which will hopefully not get out of hand.