Viruses are the most popular type of malware - and Apple devices are most at risk

Magnifying glass enlarging the word 'malware' in computer machine code
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It seems that malware operators are already performing above expectations this year, with Apple devices seem to be bearing the brunt.

A new report from Surfshark has analyzed data from users of Surfshark Antivirus, which detected 117 types of malware since the start of the year. It found that only 5 types of malware are responsible for nearly 80% of all threats detected.

Viruses are the most common type, accounting for 42%. The most prevalent of these, "Proxy.Agent," affected Apple users, dispelling the myth that the Cupertino giant's hardware is immune to compromise.

The second most common threat type are Trojans. The most commonly witnessed was "Dropper.Gen" - an installer of further malware and adware that looks like a real process in Windows machines.

Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) were third, which typically include programs that are unwittingly installed by users when they are trying to install other applications, and often result in persistent pop-ups, undesired changes and slowdown of the user's system.

Heuristic threats were fourth, and include those viruses that share characteristics with other common virus variants, by analyzing code and scanning for functions that look like malware. However, Surfshark points out that "heuristic threats may yield false positives, as behavior patterns resembling malware can trigger alarms even when no real threat exists." 

Fifth on the most commonly detected malware was adware, which can force pop-ups in users' browsers, as well as deceive users into downloading further malware, making illegitimate payments and sharing sensitive information.


Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.