More Mac malware than ever before

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Olivia Storey

A 2017 report shows that there is more Mac malware than ever before.

Apple is not impervious to malware, as thought by some, Mac users can be plagued with unwanted adware, PUPs, and browser hijacking just like Windows users. As infuriating as they may be, they are essentially, completely legal.

However, the fact remains is that adware and PUPs have increased at an alarming rate since 2013, and new families of malware have been cropping up more this year compared to any other. This increase only includes new malware, so does not account for the number of affected Macs.

Apple is very quick to find and remove malware at OS level, although when it comes to things like PUPs there is not very much they can do as a company to protect users.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains why Mac has seen this increase in malware and how Apple can protect both their users and their company.

“Mac malware has been steadily on the rise for some time, and to be honest any machine that runs an operating system and connects to the internet or a network in any way shape or form is susceptible to malware.

“Windows has always been known as a malware magnet but if you look at the ratio of users between Windows and Mac, it makes more sense to write malware for Windows if you’re looking for a return on your investment.

“That’s not to say of course that you couldn’t increase your attack vector by pulling Mac’s into your target zone and infecting both.

“Malware writers are adapting with the times, with software available off the shelf that can infect thousands, with little or no effort or input from the user, and being sold online for affordable prices, so it’s no surprise that we see Mac infections on the rise.

“Using a good regular updating multi-layered internet security product, along with point-in-time backups stored offline or offsite will help you enormously.

“Sadly these days you also have to have your wits about you as you surf, being very cautious when clicking email or web links and keeping your operating system and applications up to date is a must if you want to stay protected.”

Does a rise in Mac malware concern you? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

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