Hackers are now targeting users of the Mac in a new wave of attacks taking advantage of the macros features of MS Word documents, it has been revealed.
According to sources, attackers are using word document files to target individuals who use the Mac. The attackers are sending word files with titles that are likely to catch the attention of the users.
In one instance, the hackers are said to be fond of sending a file with a title that contains the following words: US Allies Digest Trump Victory.
In most cases, the title of the file indicates that it belongs to any of the leading political think tanks in the country, creating an impression that it is a genuine file that contains a high-level analysis of an issue of public concern.
However, it has been reported that once hackers open the file, they end up exposing their computers to a broad range of security risks.
‘The malware that is contained in the file automatically goes into action and attempts to compromise the level of security of an individual,’ the researchers have said.
However, what is likely to raise more concern in the general public is the revelation that the attack has all the hallmarks of being carried out by a state-sponsored group.
According to Snorre Fagerland, a cyber security researcher, the hackers behind the attack show signs of belonging to a state-sponsored group.
‘All indications are that the malware is being used by a state-sponsored group and that the group may be from one of the Russian-speaking countries in the world,’ he added.
However, he pointed out that it is not possible to pinpoint the particular state that was sponsoring the hackers, given that it is possible that the hackers are taking a Russian-related accent in a bid to mislead researchers.
In the past, the Macros feature in MS word has been repeatedly used by hackers to spread malware. Microsoft and security experts, in general, have been repeatedly warning users against opening any file that contains macros without first verifying the identity of the sender. Microsoft Word automatically warns users against opening files that contain macros. Similarly, Mac users have to allow MacOS to open the file.
In this recent case, experts are warning users against opening any of the files that they receive is they cannot verify the sender of the files.