Straight facts about macOS malware

How much malware for macOS is there?

The amount of macOS-specific malware remains negligible compared to other platforms (namely Windows). However, macOS malware is steadily on the rise and it is not just about the numbers anymore. Today a well thought-out and targeted malware can cause damage on an unprotected macOS.

Does my macOS need an antivirus?

The truth is that no operating system is 100% secure. Even if it was, vulnerabilities in applications, such as Java/Java Virtual Machine, can be exploited by malware. A high-performing antivirus adds layers of security, decreasing the exposure to potential threats.

Is macOS malware a recent development?

The first examples of macOS malware go back to 2004 with the detection of OSX/Opener (Renepo). OSX/Leap.A followed in 2006, along with other forms of threats developed against macOS.

Is my macOS vulnerable to Windows malware?

Windows malware does not pose any danger to your macOS, even though your macOS can act as a carrier. This means that you can unwittingly pass along infected files from your macOS to other devices.

Does malware pose a threat for macOS?

In recent years, ESET Malware Research Lab has detected and identified over ten new malware families specifically targeting the macOS platform. For instance Flashback trojan that has infected hundreds of thousands of Mac machines.

macOS Malware on the rise

The history of macOS malware began in 2004 with Opener (Renepo), a shell script featuring both backdoor and spyware functionality. During the following years others arrived including the first true macOS worm called Leap and the first scareware, MacSweep.

2011 brought the Flashback Trojan, which formed the largest Mac botnet to date. The attackers used social engineering to entice users to download and install a fake Adobe Flash Player update.

In early 2016 researchers spotted KeRanger, the first ransomware targeting macOS users, which encrypted precious personal and work files with unbreakable cryptographic algorithms.

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