Mac malware is spreading at a frightening rate, claims report

Macs are becoming an increasingly big target for malware authors, and a new report has pointed to a massive increase this year in the likes of viruses aimed at Apple’s machines (which were once regarded as relative safe havens in comparison to Windows PCs).

The findings from Malwarebytes show that as of July 2017, there has been a huge leap of 230% in Mac malware compared to the previous year.

Some categories of malicious software are increasing at an even faster rate than this, namely adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) according to the security firm, although it didn’t clarify any percentage rates in these cases.

Malwarebytes also observed that the Mac App Store is currently awash with a ‘tidal wave’ of scam software.

As Betanews reports, the authors of the study looked to the future, predicting that: “In 2018, Mac malware will increase but PUPs will see the largest growth. These are not very well policed and are free to proliferate unchecked.

“Mac users are already experiencing some of this now, with an explosion of fake anti-virus apps in the Mac App Store. These are not well controlled by Apple and not commonly known of even within the security community.”

Mounting evidence

Of course, bear in mind that these are figures from one security firm conducting one study, and the overall Mac malware picture may well differ from Malwarebytes’ findings.

That said, its hard to dispute the mounting evidence of increasing malware threats aimed at Apple’s computers.

Naturally, Malwarebytes has an answer in the form of its freshly released Malwarebytes for Mac app which offers real-time malware protection, and also promises to only exert a light load on system resources.

You don’t have to go with Malwarebytes, but it seems that these days it’s certainly time to consider getting some solid antivirus protection – perhaps one of our best Mac antivirus apps – on board your Apple computer.

It’s also worth noting that Malwarebytes observed a big rise in ransomware on Android, with Google’s mobile OS suffering an increase of 100% in this particular strain of malware in Q2 of this year.