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17 / 04 / 2015

Mac OS Malware Industry: Current Trends and Experts' Predictions

Do you really think there is no OS X-specific malware around? It’s time to reveal the truth about long-standing issue of OS X invulnerability. The recent research shows us that the number of Mac malware has reached thousands!

Let’s have a glance at some statistics on the issue:

  • 1 in 5 Macs are harbouring or carrying Windows malware*

  • 1800 malicious files for OS X were detected in 2014

  • The most frequently detected malware was AdWare.OSX.Geonei.b, which was detected more than 56 000 times worldwide in 2014

  • USA and Germany are considered to have the highest iMalware rate with 7 700-66 000 detections

Good news is that number of Mac malware still lags far behind the Windows statistics and we have an answer why.

You must know that malware existence is determined by several conditions:

  1. The platform needs to have insecure architecture and thus vulnerabilities
  2. The platform needs to be widespread
  3. It needs to provide tools for third-party application development

Among these conditions the 2nd one is compatible to Mac OS X.  Indeed there are now more than 80 million computers running Mac OS! But it is still nothing comparing to 1.5 billion Windows computers!

For the cyber-scum there’s no sense in spending resources on trickier, less popular OS’s whereas there are tens of millions of Windows-based computers – some without antivirus, most never updated, and others with free – and limited – antivirus. Put another way – the pickings are too easy with Windows. Why try harder (with OS X)?

Does it mean that Macs’ rapid growth will trigger the malware industry?  

The real situation with Mac security is difficult to estimate because most Mac users are still fully confident in the infallibility of their favorite vendor.

Our main recommendation for Mac users is to change the attitude to Mac protection and to make sure you have solid antivirus system. In the meantime, here are a few tips for how to maintain your Mac’s hygiene and keep it secure. 

* https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/04/24/mac-malware-study/

Source: Kaspersky Lab