New Variant of Chinese Gimmick Malware Targeting macOS Users

Researchers have disclosed details of a newly discovered macOS variant of a malware implant developed by a Chinese espionage threat actor known to strike attack organizations across Asia.

Attributing the attacks to a group tracked as Storm Cloud, cybersecurity firm Volexity characterized the new malware, dubbed Gimmick, as a “feature-rich, multi-platform malware family that uses public cloud hosting services (such as Google Drive) for command-and-control (C2) channels.”

The cybersecurity firm said it recovered the sample through memory analysis of a compromised MacBook Pro running macOS 11.6 (Big Sur) as part of an intrusion campaign that took place in late 2021.

“Storm Cloud is an advanced and versatile threat actor, adapting its toolset to match different operating systems used by its targets,” Volexity researchers Damien Cash, Steven Adair, and Thomas Lancaster said in a report.

“They make use of built-in operating system utilities, open-source tools, and custom malware implants to achieve their objectives. Leveraging cloud platforms for C2, such as using Google Drive, increases the likelihood of operating undetected by network monitoring solutions.”

Unlike its Windows counterpart, which is coded in both .NET and Delphi, the macOS version is written in Objective C. The choice of the programming languages aside, the two versions of the malware are known to share the same C2 infrastructure and behavioral patterns. Read more:

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