Up ’til now, users have thought of their Apple products as safe as houses.
Unlike Microsoft, that’s been a target for cybercriminals for years, the Apple family has always been thought of relatively risk free – but according to a recent report by the BBC, this may no longer be true.
With their products (and market share) growing in popularity, Apple malware is on the increase. In fact, last year on average between 10,000 and 70,000 Mac computers were infected with malware.
Granted, that’s still small fry when you compare it with Windows desktops, but it’s a worrying trend.
A significant amount of this growth in attacks is accounted for by so-called greyware – applications that may not have malware attached, but can still be annoying to users, by serving up unwanted ads or tracking their web-browsing habits.
Symantec also found seven new threats aimed at Apple’s mobile iOS platform, with jailbroken devices – those that have been unlocked – being particularly vulnerable.
Plus, hackers are also increasingly targeting corporations, where Mac use is now more prevalent.
A corporate espionage group known as Butterfly which attacked multi-billion dollar companies in 2015 developed malware tools that attacked both Windows and Apple computers.
What does the future hold for Mac users?
It has always been the case that iOS has been seen as a more secure platform than Android because of the more closed community that Apple runs for its apps, but that is changing.
According to the security firm, FireEye, although the vast majority – 96% – of mobile malware is targeted at Android devices, iOS is no longer immune.
It also discovered that XcodeGhost, iOS malware that Apple acted quickly to remove from its app store, had found its way into the networks of 210 US businesses. It was thought to be the first large-scale attack on Apple’s app store.
It’s thought the introduction of new payment systems, such as Apple Pay, will add a financial incentives for hackers.
On the whole, Apple is still a safer option than Windows, but it’s worth keeping vigilant to make sure nothing untoward makes it way onto your machine.