The amount of malware for macOS, Apple's computer system, has been growing at a faster rate than threats for Windows for the first time. According to a survey by Malwarebytes released last Tuesday (11), the company's antivirus detected 120% more threats by Mac in 2019 compared to the previous year, increasing from 4.8 to 11 detections per user. The volume, proportionally, is almost double that recorded for Microsoft software, which has accumulated an average of 5.8 cases per PC.
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Experts point out that the growth is linked to the increase in the MacBook market share in the world, which attracts the attention of hackers, coupled with the lack of security measures in the Apple system.
Malwarebytes detected more than twice as many threats on Mac as on Windows in 2019 Photo: TechTudo
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The most common threat for Mac in 2019 was the NewTab adware, which tries to redirect browser searches in order to obtain illicit affiliate revenue. The malware distributed in the form of applications that include Safari extensions embedded, spread over fake pages that promise cheap map or flight routes and travel packages.
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Secondly, Malwarebytes has more often identified PUP.PCVARK, a type of threat known as an unwanted application and consisting mainly of cloned apps that promise new functionality, but are just known programs with some change of look. The goal is to sell or earn advertising income with third party software.
Macs were proportionally more threatened than Windows in 2019 Photo: Reproduo / Malwarebytes
NewTab and PUP.PCVARK were, respectively, the second and third most common threats in 2019 considering all operating systems. The numbers are pulled by the increased presence of Malwarebytes software on macOS. Overall, the antivirus reported 400% more detections in 2019 compared to 2018.
According to the security company, part of the problem on the Apple platform is the lack of native operating system protections to prevent malware infection. At the same time, the company's system has been increasing the user base and accounting for a higher percentage worldwide. From about 12% in 2018, it jumped to more than 16% in 2019 and, currently, it already exceeds 17% of marketshare according to the Statcounter. Windows accounts for more than 77%, however, due to the attack history, considered more mature in terms of security features.
Via Malwarebytes and Statcounter