Fruitfly: A New Malware Infecting Apple Devices

Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Apple is invulnerable to malware threats. While that might be a stretch, there is some truth to that statement. If your business relies on Apple devices, you shouldn’t rest easy thinking that you are not susceptible. 2017 has just begun and the world has already witnessed the first Apple malware.


Fruitfly is the name given to this virus by Apple and it seems to have been hiding in OS X for quite some years. Some of its code shows that it is probably an adaptation designed to move from one version of OS X to Yosemite, meaning it must have existed for three years. What’s more surprising is that there are old lines of codes that haven’t been used for more than a decade. Experts believe this to be a tactic used to hide this malicious malware whose age or creator remains anonymous to the powers that be Apple.

How does it operate?

Most reports of Fruitfly incidences are at biomedical research facilities. Administrators here think it was designed to control a computer’s webcam an grab screenshots. The majority of Mac users shouldn’t worry, though, as Fruitfly seems to target specific victims. Apple hasn’t released a patch yet but you shouldn’t wait to deal with an actual malware attack.

When surfing the web on Apple’s Safari browser, people often click bogus website link and unknowingly download the malicious code. The virus might cause the email client to create several emails with subject line ‘warning, virus detected’. The flood of emails may not get delivered to anyone but it certainly causes the computer to freeze by hogging so many resources. An infected computer keeps opening iTunes’s without closing it, which eventually causes it to crash.

The malware targeting Apple devices may leave a dummy email asking you to call a fake support center. It is not clear what happens if you call but experts believe it is at this point you will be asked to pay to have your device unlocked. Like a real fruit fly, this malicious virus works from the inside to deny you access to the Apple device you rely upon so much.

What should you do about it?

It has become cliché but we must emphasize the need for network monitoring. An administrator who noticed an unusual upsurge in outbound traffic from one workstation discovered Fruitfly. Rather than wait for Apple to release a patch, you can consult your IT solutions provider about any abnormal activities in your network traffic.

If you don’t have dedicated IT solutions it is about time you considered them. It is now clear that no matter which device you use, extra caution is necessary, and not just for security reasons. A good IT specialist will help in the optimization of workstation performance, the creation of disaster recovery plans and database upgrades. Leave us a message today and let us get started on fortifying your Apple device. It is better to start protecting your device in advance, rather than taking it easy only for your business to stall over a malware you have no control over.