Apple has pushed updates to XProtect and MRT

Overnight (UTC) Apple has pushed two updates, to the data files used by XProtect, bringing its version number to 2140 dated 22 February 2021, and to its malware removal tool MRT, bringing it to version 1.74, also dated 22 February 2021.

Apple doesn’t release information about what these updates add or change, and now obfuscates the identities of malware detected by XProtect using internal code names.

Changes found in the XProtect Yara definitions include new detection signatures for five items named MACOS.7ef4bab, MACOS.4d60c89, MACOS.74416b0, MACOS.9e2bab9 and MACOS.889c9e6, and changes to the those for MACOS.de444f2 (AdLoad-AD, OSX.Cimpli), MACOS.b70290c (AdLoad-AD, OSX.Cimpli), MACOS.22d71e9 (AdLoad-AD, OSX.Cimpli), and MACOS.2070d41 (XCSSET Script). These are the most substantial changes made to XProtect’s Yara definitions for many months.

Update: Phil Stokes has identified the five additions as being AdLoad variants (MACOS.7ef4bab), notarized Shlayer DLVPlayer (MACOS.4d60c89), WizardUpdate (MACOS.74416b0), macOS.OSAMiner (MACOS.9e2bab9) and XCSSET (xcassets variants) (MACOS.889c9e6).

You can check whether this update has been installed by opening System Information via About This Mac, and selecting the Installations item under Software.

A full listing of security data file versions is given by SilentKnight, LockRattler and SystHist for El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur, available from their product page. If your Mac has not yet installed this update, you can force an update using SilentKnight, LockRattler, or at the command line.

I have updated the reference pages here which are accessed directly from LockRattler 4.2 and later using its Check blog button.

I maintain lists of the current versions of security data files for Big Sur on this page, Catalina on this page, Mojave on this page, High Sierra on this page, Sierra on this page, and El Capitan on this page.

I am grateful to Phil Stokes at Sentinel Labs for decoding of the obfuscated malware names here.