As the popularity and wide-spread adoption of Apple’s iOS and OS X hardware has increased over the years, so too has the threat of Cyber attacks against these devices. As a matter of fact, a rather alarming increase in malware targeting iOS and OS X powered devices was verified in just the year 2015 alone.
“But it’s a Mac,” you might rationalize, “Doesn’t that mean I’m protected against all these malware shenanigans?” Well, unfortunately, in a word, no — despite the long-standing perception that Apple’s desktop and mobile hardware isn’t susceptible to vicious malware attacks, leading researchers at the Security firm Symantec have confirmed that, not only are these attacks just as plausible, but their prevalence is only expected to increase in 2016.
An Example of Dangerous Software
According to Dick O’Brien, one of the leading researchers at Symantec, “A rising number of threat actors have begun developing malware designed to infect devices running Mac OS X or iOS.”
To that end, Symantec’s researchers confirmed that malware specifically targeting iOS devices doubled in 2015, whereas, additionally, the number of Mac computers infected during the same timeframe was roughly seven times higher than was the case during the calendar year prior.
Symantec recently released a comprehensive, 30-page report detailing the state of Apple’s recent Cyber security threats. The report also notes that cyber attacks targeting iOS and OS X devices are “quite low,” especially compared to Apple’s primary competitors — Android in the mobile realm, and Windows PC when it comes to desktop computing. O’Brien notes, however, that the “level of Apple-related malware infections has spiked, particularly in the past 18 months.”
Apple Pay, according to Symantec, could be among the leading targets of cybercriminals in 2016, primarily in light of the financial incentive behind finding a vulnerability in the company’s digital wallet system.
Symantec currently offers a number of Mac specific titles that have been developed with the intent of boosting your chances of staving off these threats. They can be picked up at various retailers nationwide or at Amazon.