Monday, 10 August, 2020


Mac, Not Windows, Is Now Hackers' Favorite Target

Mac threats per endpoint vs. Windows threats per endpoint Mac threats per endpoint vs. Windows threats per endpoint
Melba Vasquez | 13 February, 2020, 14:56

The Mac vs. PC debate isn't almost as intense as it was earlier in the 21st century, but a new malware report could stoke the flames a little bit for the first time in years.

The company noted that the sharp rise is partly influenced by its increase in macOS customers a year ago.

After a 400% year-over-year increase, there are now more Mac threats than PC threats, according to Malwarebytes' "2020 State of Malware Report" [PDF].

Detections per endpoint increased from 4.8 in 2018 to 11.0, compared to the 5.8 measured on Windows systems in 2019. The report explains that these PUPs are deemed unwanted not only by Malwarebytes itself, but its community of macOS users.

That's not to say that all malware campaigns targeting Mac users are low-level, there are instances of trojan malware targeting Macs, but while they're not as prolific as the campaigns targeting Windows, they're still unsafe for the users.

He added: "If you look at data on the detections per endpoint, which eliminates any bias caused by growth in the number of endpoints, you'll see that it's still significantly higher in 2019 than in 2018". It means the average number of threats detected on a Mac now eclipses that of Windows machines. Of the top 10 threats against Macs, a majority are PUPs and adware, with most of the unwanted programs being cleaning apps, like MacKeeper and MacBooster.

Adware was particularly problematic for consumers and businesses on Windows, Mac and Android devices, deploying aggressive techniques for serving up advertisements, hijacking browsers, redirecting web traffic and proving extremely hard to uninstall. NewTab was picked up by its products around 30 million times a year ago, Malwarebytes said. Malwarebytes reported that consumer threats declined by 2 percent, while business detections increased by almost 1 million, or 13 percent, YoY. Combine those two segments and the total number of threats increased by 1% this year. And while Trojans and other more serious forms of malware dominate the PC landscape, adware attacks are the fastest growing malware attack in both the PC and Mac sectors. As more people use Apple computers, they become more attractive to bad actors. Those old "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials never could have predicted this. Our sister site Tom's Guide ranked the best antivirus software for your Windows PC and the best Mac antivirus software.

In addition, cybercriminals continue to focus on business targets with a diversification of threat types and attack strategies in 2019.

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