One of the biggest (and most evoked) selling points of an Apple Mac has always been their ability to avoid unwanted programs and viruses. Yet as their popularity and accessibility has increased, so to has the community that develops adware for the platform.
Beyond the aesthetic design, ease of use and general benefits for creatives working in any kind of design fields, Apple has always prided themselves on selling machines that have remained clean and sparkly from the disgusting dirges of malware. It used to be that finding a Mac with a virus was a real challenge yet it appears the machines’ reputation for being malware free has been turned on it’s head according to new research.
Malwarebytes, an anti-virus software that can be installed on virtually any platform, has found that malware designed specifically for Mac now outnumbers PC viruses 2:1. These PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) are certainly not system-crashingly dangerous but you still don’t want them on your Mac. “While these threats are not considered as dangerous as traditional malware, they are becoming a much larger and more noticeable nuisance for Mac users, who can no longer say that their beloved systems are immune from malware”, stated Malwarebytes in their most recent report.
That same report states that Mac-related threats have experienced a 400% increase in 2019. While Apple has spent plenty of resources on securing their systems from malware the company has neglected to crack down on on PUPs and adware. Malwarebytes has noted that the the second and third most widespread malware was exclusively for Macs with PCVARK, a “junk cleaner” coming in at 25M attacks in third place and Adware.NewTab attacking over 30M systems in second.
While PC is certainly not able to hide from the ever increasing catalogue of malware, it’s interesting that Mac has experienced such a large increase in threats in the space of just a year. While trojan viruses are still not a big threat to Macs, adware attacks are currently the fastest growing form of malware and Macs are just not equipped to detect those forms of digital attacks.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about the spread of computer viruses and malware, take a look at the full Malwarebytes report. It’s both a long and interesting read.