Apple accidentally approved malware disguised as Flash, new report finds

Apple accidentally approved common malware disguised as an update for Adobe Flash Player to run on macOS, according to a new report.

According to security researcher Patrick Wardle, Apple approved an app that contained code used by a well-known malware called Shlayer. Shlayer is a trojan downloader that spreads through fake applications, bombarding users with an influx of adware. Shlayer is the “most common threat” to Macs, cybersecurity and anti-virus firm Kaspersky said in 2019.

Wardle says this is the first time he knows of that Apple mistakenly notarized malware following the debut of its new notarization process. Apple announced the macOS notarizing process in 2019, requiring every app to be reviewed by Apple and signed by a developer before it can run on macOS, even if they’re being distributed outside the Mac App Store.

After discovering the malware, Wardle contacted Apple and the company disabled the developer account associated with the app and revoked its certification. The attackers reportedly managed to notarize the malware again, but Apple told TechCrunch that both the old and new malware had their notarization revoked.

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