Mac threats outpace Windows for the first time

Mac malware is on the rise

Mac malware is on the rise

It's generally accepted that Macs are safer and less malware-prone than Windows PCs.

Malwarebytes says that there was a 400 percent increase in the overall prevalence of Mac threats in 2019, but part of that increase is attributable to an increase in the Malwarebytes for Mac user base, which is why the threats per endpoint metric was used for comparison purposes.

Malicious software targeting users of Apple Macs has leapt over the a year ago, the security outfit said in its latest State of Malware report.

He added: "If you look at data on the detections per endpoint, which eliminates any bias caused by growth in the number of endpoints, you'll see that it's still significantly higher in 2019 than in 2018".

As for the reason behind the drastic increase, Malwarebytes says it's likely due to increased market share.

The report can be downloaded from the Malwarebytes website as a 57-page, full-colour PDF. Malwarebytes detected 11 threats per endpoint for its Mac users, compared to 5.8 for its Windows users. As more people use Apple computers, they become more attractive to bad actors. However this certainly won't account for all of the increase, and as noted the threats per Mac endpoint were almost double that of Windows.

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Malware: One in ten macOS users have been targeted by this threat This threat might be relatively basic, but it is still a headache for many Mac users.

Potentially unwanted programs include "cleaning" apps like MacKeeper and MacBooster, along with apps like Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Adware Cleaner, and others. By far the most common adware was the NewTab variety, which is typically caught by opening fake flight- or package-tracking messages, and shows users ads that generate income for its shadowy authors. NewTab tries to redirect searches in the web browser in order to earn illicit affiliate revenue.

Another group of malware on the rise is adware. That said, the increased number indicates these types of threats are becoming more aggressive.

Beware of adware - Adware increased 13 percent, year-over-year, for consumers and 463 percent for businesses.

Aside from Mac malware, Malwarebytes said trojans-turned-botnets Emotet and Trickbot continued to "hammer" businesses across the globe, with Trickbot infections having increased by 50 per cent over 2018. There were a total of 24 million Windows adware detections and 30 million Mac detections, with the top consumer threat detections belonging to adware families.

The main takeaway is that no, your Apple computer isn't more immune to malware and maybe you should take security more seriously.

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