Apple not so safe after all. Rapid rise in malware targeting Mac devices, as Android security problem worsens
Malwarebytes has warned Apple Mac users that the days of their devices being relatively safe from malware are long over.
The security specialist analysed data from millions of its users worldwide and it discovered that Mac and Android ransomware and malware attacks have risen significantly in the past year.
Indeed, Malwarebytes found that more Mac malware had been detected in Q2 2017 than in all of 2016.
According to the security vendor, the “rapidly rising rates of malware” targetting Mac devices should disperse the popular belief that Macs are impenetrable.
It cited the recent outbreak of the FruitFly surveillance malware as an example.
Fruitfly creates a backdoor that allows attackers to take screen captures and remotely control the Mac system.
“More malware families have emerged in 2017 than in any other previous year – and we’re only in August,” warned Malwarebytes. In fact, more new malware families have appeared this year than in any other previous year in Mac history.
To this end, Malwarebytes has introduced ‘Malwarebytes for Mac‘, which offers real-time protection for Mac users to automatically block and remove cyber threats, including malware, adware and potentially unwanted programs.
“We carefully designed Malwarebytes for Mac to protect all Mac users from cyber threats and potentially unwanted programs so that they can feel safe and have a Mac that performs like it should,” explained Marcin Kleczynski, CEO, Malwarebytes.
“Antivirus and security awareness is no longer enough defence for Mac users, the growth of Mac malware has made that very clear. We hope that more and more Mac users will come to this realisation and begin to seek out additional defences.”
Malwarebytes for Mac includes a real-time anti-malware protection scanner that allows for “ultra-fast proactive scanning for malware and spyware in real-time, in addition to flagging potentially unwanted programs and adware.”
And Malwarebytes for Mac can either completely replace an existing antivirus solutions or can run alongside any antivirus program. It also boasts a small system footprint that utilises minimal system resources to ensure that Macs run smoothly.
“Mac threats are not taken seriously enough in the security community today,” added Thomas Reed, Director of Mac and Mobile, Malwarebytes. “Adware and potentially unwanted programs are becoming a major problem for Mac users. Some very popular apps have been known to carry these threats and despite protections in place, the App Store is not immune to these threats.
“For example, the recent Proton Remote Access Trojan that plagued Mac users fooled many experienced, security-minded people who became infected. This perpetuates a crucial lesson that, despite what many Mac users think, they are not safe even if they are careful about what they download.
“Being security-savvy is no longer enough, all Mac users need dedicated protection against malware, adware and potentially unwanted programs.”
There was equally grim news for those in the Android community, as ransomware here increased more than 100 percent between Q1 and Q2 2017. Indeed, Malwarebytes data showed that incidences of Android malware increased more than five percent since the start of the year.
And to make matters worse, incidents of Android ransomware increased 138 percent in Q2 2017 (April to May) over Q1 (January to March) 2017. Malwarebytes found that Jisut, SLocker and Koler ransomware collectively accounted for nearly 95 percent of these detections.
And although Android ransomware is growing at this rapid pace, Trojans and potentially unwanted programs still remain the biggest headaches for Android users.
Android Trojans accounted for more than 48 percent of all Android malware detections in the first half of 2017 and potentially unwanted programs accounted for 47 percent of all detections.