Trojanized versions of legitimate applications are being used to deploy evasive cryptocurrency mining malware on macOS systems, according to the Apple device management company. Jamf Threat Labs, which made the discovery, said the XMRig coin miner was executed by means of an unauthorized modification in Final Cut Pro, a video editing software from Apple.
An earlier iteration of the campaign was documented exactly a year ago by Trend Micro, which pointed out the malware's use of i2p to conceal network traffic and speculated that it may have been delivered as a DMG file for Adobe Photoshop CC 2019.
The result is the discovery of three generations of the malware, observed first in August 2019, April 2021, and October 2021, respectively, that chart the evolution of the campaign's sophistication and stealth.
One example of the evasion technique is a shell script that monitors the list of running processes to check for the presence of Activity Monitor, and if so, terminate the mining processes.