At the end of last year, we commented on a survey developed by Malwarebytes Labs (antivirus developer Malwarebytes) that pointed to an increase in the number of threats for Macs. Now, confirming this assumption, the company released [PDF] that, in fact, the number of malware for macOS has grown – surpassing even those that affect Windows.
More precisely, Malwarebytes has detected 11 threats per Mac (installed with Malwarebytes) – a much larger number than the average 5.8 threats at the Windows and about 400% greater than the data from 2018. According to the company, however, part of this increase can be attributed to the growth of the client base of the antivirus Malwarebytes for Mac, among others.
The greatest number of threats is related to so-called adware, which are nothing more than software which displays a large number of advertisements without the user’s permission. Specifically, this type of threat was the most aggressive on three platforms: macOS, Windows and Android – being that, in the Microsoft system, 24 million detections of adware and, at Apple’s, 30 million.
With the increase in Mac market share in 2019, they have become more attractive targets for cybercriminals. Furthermore, macOS integrated security systems have not adware and PUPs in the same proportion as the malware, leaving the “door” open for infiltration of these bordering malicious software.
It is worth remembering, however, that * most * threats for Macs are not as dangerous as some seen on PCs. PUPs (second biggest threat against Macs), for example, are responsible for installing “cleaning” apps like MacKeeper, MacBooster, etc. On the other hand, malware like Wirenet and Mokes use a different technique in order to induce the user to download and open something they shouldn’t.
Therefore, Malwarebytes points out that adware and PUPs are becoming an increasingly noticeable nuisance to Mac owners in general, alerting them (again) to the fact that Macs are not entirely immune to malware.