Using Netcat to backdoor a macOS device has its short-comings. If the compromised Mac goes to sleep, the Netcat background process will occasionally fail to terminate correctly; This leaves Netcat running infinitely in the background and the attacker with no new way into the device. As an alternative, we'll use the lesser-known Tcl shell which can handle abrupt backdoor disconnections.
Most users don't realize how much valuable data is in their network traffic. With a few simple tools, an attacker can quickly pick out cookies, passwords, and DNS queries from a macOS device as it covertly streams the victim's network traffic to the attacker's system. Here, we will cover two methods for analyzing packets flowing from a Mac.
With the rise of website encryption (TLS), sniffing passwords from network activity has become difficult. However, it's still possible to quietly exfiltrate a target's network traffic in real time to extract passwords and sensitive information. Pertaining to macOS, there are two methods for retrieving traffic from a backdoored Mac.
Passwords and data stored in web browsers are extremely valuable to hackers. If not for financial gain, black hat hackers may still leak your passwords and personal information for amusement. Never undervalue what you're worth to a hacker.
Don't think because your MacBook is using FileVault disk encryption your device is secure or immune to hackers. Here's how to find out if that FileVault password is strong enough to withstand an attack from a motivated attacker.
The misconception that macOS is more secure than the Windows operating system is far from the truth. With just one small command, a hacker can completely take over a MacBook and control it remotely.
It's possible to stream a MacBook's entire computer screen without using Apple's Screen Sharing application and without opening any ports on the target device. A hacker with low user privileges on the backdoored Mac may be able to view a victim's every move in real time no matter where they are.
Google, Amazon, and Facebook are always listening. But what's worse? Hackers are listening, too. Windows PCs are particularly vulnerable, but with a few simple commands, a remote attacker can even take over the microphone on someone's Mac computer, streaming audio and listening to private conversations in real time without the victim's knowledge, abusing an overlooked security consideration.
It's not uncommon for hackers to attempt to move laterally between devices in proximity of a compromised device to maintain a prolonged presence in the network. Malware utilizing USB flash sticks to self-replicate and compromise air-gapped machines isn't a new concept.
With just one line of Ruby code embedded into a fake PDF, a hacker can remotely control any Mac computer from anywhere in the world. Creating the command is the easy part, but getting the target to open the code is where a hacker will need to get creative.
Gmail conversations, Facebook private messages, and personal photos can all be viewed by a hacker who has backdoor access to a target's Mac. By livestreaming the desktop or exfiltrating screenshots, this information can be used for blackmail and targeted social engineering attacks to further compromise the mark.
In most macOS hacks, a non-root terminal is used to create a backdoor into the device. A lot of damage can be done as a low-privileged user, but it has its limitations. Think twice before granting a file permission to execute — an attacker might be able to convert your harmless scripts into persistent root backdoors.
Locating and abusing files containing unsafe permissions is an easy and surefire way to elevate shell privileges on a backdoored macOS device. This time around, we'll be more aggressive and attempt to phish a user's login password by prompting a convincing popup message merely asking the target for their password.
After backdooring a MacBook not protected by FileVault or using a fake PDF to gain remote access, an attacker may wish to upgrade their Netcat shell to something more fully featured. While a root shell allows attackers to remotely modify most files on the MacBook, Empire features some useful post-exploitation modules which make hacking Macs very easy.
Developed by Open Whisper Systems, Signal is a free, open-source encrypted communications app for both mobile and desktop devices that allows users to make voice calls, send instant messages, and even make video calls securely. However, a vulnerability was recently discovered for the desktop version that can be turned into a USB Rubber Ducky payload to steal signal messages with a single click.
With the macOS stager created and the attacker's system hosting the Empire listener, the malicious AppleScript can be designed and disguised to appear as a legitimate PDF using a few Unicode and icon manipulation tricks.
While hackers have taken advantage of numerous vulnerabilities in Adobe's products to deliver payloads to Windows users via PDF files, a malicious PDF file can also wreak havoc on a Mac that's using the default Preview app. So think twice before double-clicking a PDF open on your MacBook — it might just be a Trojan with a rootkit inside.
The conversation of which operating system is most secure, macOS vs. Windows, is an ongoing debate. Most will say macOS is more secure, but I'd like to weigh in by showing how to backdoor a MacBook in less than two minutes and maintain a persistent shell using tools already built into macOS.
Barrow's article on Pupy made me wish for a RAT that could target an OS frequently used by gatekeepers at startups, tech companies, and creative firms: macOS. Once run, a RAT can do severe damage by dumping a user's stored credentials for many accounts. The best loot lives in the Chrome Password cache, and EvilOSX, an OS X RAT, infiltrates macOS and dumps these credentials.