Close to 30,000 Apple Mac computers have been infected with a mysterious new malware.
Digital security company Red Canary said the malware - called Silver Sparrow - may have infected thousands of devices in UK, Canada, the U.S., France, Germany and elsewhere.
Red Canary analyst Tony Lambert said the malware doesn't exhibit the same behavior expected from adware. The motivation behind the malware or its goal remain undetermined.
Researchers said they detected a "self-destruct mechanism" within the malware's code but it hasn't been used and no trigger has been found.
Red Canary warned that even if the malware doesn't present an immediate threat, Mac users and Apple should still be concerned about potential trouble it could cause in the future.
"Though we haven't observed Silver Sparrow delivering additional malicious payloads yet, its forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a reasonably serious threat," researchers said.
A report from ARS Technica said Silver Sparrow malware seems to have been coded to run natively on Apple's new in-house M1 microchip - which was released in November.
The report said it was the second known malware identified to run specifically on Apple's new chip. The first was discovered by Objective-See security researcher Patrick Wardle a week ago.
As of Feb. 17, Red Canary said the Silver Sparrow may have infected nearly 30,000 Mac devices in about 153 different countries. The company said the malware might make its way to even more devices.
Apple's decision to transition to its own chips and away from Intel introduced its own set of problems for the company. Apple's M1 chip is a departure from Intel's x86 architecture and hackers are likely working to find possible cracks.