macOS Backdoor RustDoor likely linked to Alphv/BlackCat ransomware operations

Pierluigi Paganini February 10, 2024

Bitdefender Researchers linked a new macOS backdoor, named RustDoor, to the Black Basta and Alphv/BlackCat ransomware operations.

Researchers from Bitdefender discovered a new macOS backdoor, dubbed RustDoor, which appears to be linked to ransomware operations Black Basta and Alphv/BlackCat.

RustDoor is written in Rust language and supports multiple features. The malware impersonates a Visual Studio update and was designed to support Intel and Arm architectures.

The malware has been active since at least November 2023, but it was fist spotted on February 2nd 2024.

Researchers identified multiple RustDoor variants, and most of the samples share the same core functionalities with minor variations. The experts grouped these variants into Variant 1, 2 and Zero.

All the variants support commands that allow operators to gather and upload files, and gather information about the machine.

The first variant of the backdoor that was detected in November 2023 was likely a test version that did not support a persistence mechanism. The researchers noticed that the backdoor contained a plist file named ‘test’.

The second variant was spotted at the end of November, it contained a complex JSON configuration as well as an embedded Apple script used for exfiltration.

“We identified multiple variants of the embedded Apple script, but all of them are meant for data exfiltration.” reads the report published by Bitdefender. “The script is used to exfiltrate documents with specific extensions and sizes from Documents and Desktop folders, as well as the notes of the user, stored in SQLITE format”


The configuration files included a list of applications for impersonation, the backdoor used this trick to spoof the administrator password presenting dialog.

“Some configurations also include specific instructions about what data to collect, such as the maximum size and maximum number of files, as well as lists of targeted extensions and directories, or directories to  exclude” Bitdefender continues.

The “Variant Zero,” first spotted on 02.11.2023, is less complex than the other variants and doesn’t include apple script and embedded configuration.

The analysis of artifacts and IoCs revealed a possible link with the BlackBasta and (ALPHV/BlackCat) ransomware operation.

“Specifically, three out of the four command and control servers have been previously associated with ransomware campaigns targeting Windows clients. ALPHV/BlackCat is a ransomware family (also written in Rust), that first made its appearance in November 2021, and that has pioneered the public leaks business model.” concludes the report.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, backdoor)

you might also like

leave a comment