Pirated copies of Final Cut Pro infect Macs with cryptojacking malware

Pirated copies of Final Cut Pro infect Macs with cryptojacking malware

Hopefully everyone reading this knows that Macs can be infected by malware, just like PCs.

And hopefully any Mac user reading this blog knows that they should be running anti-virus software on their Macs, just like they would (hopefully) on a Windows PC.

You’re barmy if you don’t.

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Sure, there’s much more malware for Windows (by a large order of magnitude) than there is on macOS, but that doesn’t mean that Macs are somehow magically immune from threats.

It’s simply the case that if you’re running a Mac, there are a lot less arrows being flung in your direction.

But if you do foolhardy things on your Mac, you can certainly come a cropper.

Take, for instance, if you decide that you don’t fancy paying the $300 or so that Apple charges for the Mac edition of Final Cut Pro.

Maybe you decide that because you can’t afford to pay that for video-editing software that you’ll venture onto the internet instead, and see if you can download a pirated version of Final Cut Pro from a torrent instead.

Well, don’t you like living dangerously?

As security researchers at Jamf have described, torrents on The Pirate Bay which claim to contain Final Cut Pro are instead being used to distribute cryptojacking malware to Macs.

If you do download the pirated version of “Final Cut Pro” from a torrent, at installation you’ll be greeted with a message which suggests that the software has become corrupted.

Final cut pro damaged

However, behind the scenes, your Mac is already covertly mining cryptocurrency on behalf of cybercriminals – gobbling up your CPU cycles and giving your computer’s fan a good workout.

The lesson? Obviously you should always run up-to-date anti-virus software, but maybe you would also be wise to only install software from legitimate sources – which doesn’t mean it’s okay to install pirated software.

According to Jamf, the person responsible for the poisoned Final Cut Pro torrents has uploaded numerous other malicious payloads that mine cryptocurrency since 2019.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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