Apple users are being warned about a new type of Mac malware that allows hackers to take control of an iMac or Macbook.
The particularly nasty strain of malware, dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Elanor, has been infecting the OS X operating system and gives hackers total access to all the files stored locally on your device.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Backdoor.MAC.Elanor also gives access remote access to camera and microphone on an iMac or Macbook meaning that they could spy you without you knowing.
Cyber security experts from Bitdefender who discovered Backdoor.MAC.Elanor say that the malware hidden inside an app that is available to download from reputable sites that offer genuine Mac update software.
If you have ever downloaded an application called Easy Doc Converter – used to convert files to Microsoft Office .docx format – your device could be infected with the malware and hackers will be able to access all your files and pretty much do as they please with your system.
The first suspicious thing you may notice is when the Easy Doc Converter isn’t actually able to convert any files.
However, if you have tried to use the app to convert files then it may already be too late as downloading it installs the malware on the hard drive of your Mac.
Tiberius Axinte Technical Leader at Bitdefender Antimalware Lab said: “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.”
Apple’s OS X operating system is one of the most secure in the world. However, as Bitdefender points out, the Easy Doc Converter app has not been digitally signed by Apple and does not have a certificate of approval.
This means that as long as you have Apple’s Gatekeeper security package enabled, you should be ok, otherwise you may be in trouble.
To keep your Mac safe from malware you should make sure you install antivirus software and that you only download apps from Apple’s App Store.
You can update the security settings to only allow apps to be downloaded from the App Store by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General tab > Allow apps downloaded from > Mac App Store.
Last month, a photograph of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went viral after it revealed he puts tape over the webcam and microphone jack of his MacBook to stop hackers snooping on him.