University of Southern California

Malware Warnings: Fruitfly and Broadpwn

Posted on by mbordas

The malware program Fruitfly continues to affect Mac systems. Fruitfly, first discovered in early 2017, is particularly concerning because it gives hackers remote control over an infected computer, allowing them to access files, take webcam photos, and record screenshots and keystrokes. A new variant of Fruitfly has recently been discovered on several hundred Mac machines and could be running undetected on additional machines.

Broadpwn is a recently discovered exploit that allows hackers to access Apple, Google, Samsung, and other devices via a vulnerability in the devices’ Wi-Fi chipsets.

Protecting Your Devices from Fruitfly and Other Malware

  • Keep your systems up-to-date. Software companies regularly release security updates for their supported products to address known vulnerabilities such as Fruitfly and Broadpwn. See below for information about Apple, Android, and Windows updates:
  • Install and run antivirus software. Sophos Endpoint Security is available for free to all USC students, faculty, and staff. To help protect your devices from this and other threats, ITS recommends that you install Sophos or other antivirus software on all of your devices and regularly scan for malware. To download the Sophos software for your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, go to software.usc.edu/antivirus.

Additional Security Tips

  • Remember that malware affects Macs, too. Be sure to keep software updated and regularly scan for malware using antivirus software.
  • Be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails. Hackers may try to infect your computer by sending you a phish email with a compromised attachment or a link to a webpage specially crafted to download malware onto your machine. Learn how to recognize suspicious emails on the ITS Security Blog at it-security.usc.edu/2013/03/29/before-you-click-that-link.
  • Enable two-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it. Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security in addition to your password.

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