New Variant of XLoader macOS Malware Disguised as ‘OfficeNote’ Productivity App

New Variant of XLoader macOS Malware Disguised as ‘OfficeNote’ Productivity App

A new variant of an Apple macOS malware called XLoader has surfaced in the wild, masquerading its malicious features under the guise of an office productivity app called “OfficeNote.”

XLoader, first detected in 2020, is considered a successor to Formbook and is an information stealer and keylogger offered under the malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model. A macOS variant of the malware emerged in July 2021, distributed as a Java program in the form of a compiled .JAR file.

“Such files require the Java Runtime Environment, and for that reason the malicious .jar file will not execute on a macOS install out of the box, since Apple stopped shipping JRE with Macs over a decade ago,” the cybersecurity firm noted at the time.

XLoader macOS Malware

Once executed, OfficeNote throws an error message saying it “can’t be opened because the original item can’t be found,” but, in reality, it installs a Launch Agent in the background for persistence.

XLoader is designed to harvest clipboard data as well as information stored in the directories associated with web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Safari, however, is not targeted.

Besides taking steps to evade analysis both manually and by automated solutions, the malware is configured to run sleep commands to delay its execution and avoid raising any red flags.

“This latest iteration masquerading as an office productivity application shows that the targets of interest are clearly users in a working environment. The malware attempts to steal browser and clipboard secrets that could be used or sold to other threat actors for further compromise.”