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Average Mac User Faced Nine Malware Threats Last Year, but OS X Remains Minor Target

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's OS X faced an increasing number of malicious attacks in the past year with antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab noting roughly 3.7 million infection attempts blocked by its software, the firm reports in its 2014 Security Bulletin (via The Telegraph). The annual report quantifies malicious activity by analyzing attacks blocked by Kaspersky's anti-malware products.

According to the 2014 report, the average Mac user faced nine threats in the past year. The study tracked nearly 1500 new malware programs targeting OS X over the past year, 200 more than in the previous year. More than half of the detected malicious threats were AdWare modules that add links to default browser bookmark lists, change the default browser search engine, and insert advertising links in order to generate ad revenue.

Other more serious but less prevalent threats include a Trojan keylogger, a screenshot capture program, and the Wirelurker malware that attempts to steal data from iOS devices connected to a Mac. Though increasing, the number of malicious programs on OS X is lower than what is recorded on competing platforms such as Windows. Overall, Kaspersky Lab says its software blocked over six billion malware installation attempts over the past year, meaning that OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices being targeted.

As an antivirus vendor, Kaspersky Lab naturally has a vested interest in convincing customers to adopt its products, but it also puts the company in a good position to monitor threats and collect data from those using its tools.

Article Link: Average Mac User Faced Nine Malware Threats Last Year, but OS X Remains Minor Target
 

forcesteeler

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2007
276
586
Mac Users better thank the Unix Kernel and GateKeeper2 Technology for only have just 9 malware virus. I can only image Windows.
 
Comment

Deelron

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2009
235
113
OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices in use. Go figure.

And their users are typically painted as people with money to burn who less computer savvy. Seems like a prime set of targets.
 
Comment

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,516
2,445
As marketshare increases (which has been happening for years), OS X will become a more enticing target - although at this point, Windows is so much larger, it would seem OS X would need to get a much larger PC market share (20%-30%) before it really gets put in the bad guys sights.
 
Comment

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,758
2,230
Provo, UT
Mac Users better thank the Unix Kernel and GateKeeper2 Technology for only have just 9 malware virus. I can only image Windows.

Please be careful with the terminology you use. Malware =/= virus. I am still unaware of any legitimate virus on a Mac, i.e. malicious software that attacks without intervention from the user.

On the other hand, no system is secure against malware, i.e. software that requires the user to install it. Granted it may be very sneaky about it, but the only way bad software gets on a Mac is if a careless or ignorant user puts in on. And I don't mean ignorant in a pejorative way, just a not aware way.
 
Comment

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,721
1,762
Should I be worried that I didn't notice facing any malware threats this year? :confused:
 
Comment

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
923
2
And their users are typically painted as people with money to burn who less computer savvy. Seems like a prime set of targets.

This is a myth, mac users are in no way less tech savvy than windows users in general.
 
Comment

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,271
OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices in use. Go figure.

As marketshare increases (which has been happening for years), OS X will become a more enticing target - although at this point, Windows is so much larger, it would seem OS X would need to get a much larger PC market share (20%-30%) before it really gets put in the bad guys sights.

Hogwash. I'm sick of hearing this marketshare argument. How do you explain that before OS X, there were more viruses/malware threats on the Mac for OS 8 alone than there have been for OS X's decade+ old reign? This isn't about marketshare.

Here's the thing that people love to forget: OS X is damn secure. It's a UNIX system. Apple implement so many security features to prevent malware installations. They put additional sandboxes to ensure that if a malicious application is installed, it can't edit or access any of the really important stuff (protected by root, blah blah).

How many hackers out there would love to make a Mac-bricking virus? How many hackers would love to have that under their belt -- those brilliant brownie points of screwing a smug Mac users' computer. But it hasn't been done -- yet.

And that's down to marketshare? No, it's because OS X is difficult, if not practically impossible, to hack. With every new iteration of OS X they make more under-the-hood changes. With Mavericks they even changed how third-party apps used Accessibility features, to increase security.

Fact is: Windows is easy to screw. You can delete some registry entries even without admin privileges. All the services are stored in the registry. Windows updates, every single core function, or file allocation, is buried somewhere in the registry. The amount of times I've remoted into a computer to see the Windows Firewall/Update service deleted. Not 'disabled', full on deleted. Simply a folder deleted from the registry, and boom -- a right PITA to fix.

Microsoft are an utter joke when it comes to things like this. Using the marketshare argument is frankly a total insult to the OS X programmers, Apple's mentality, and people who get inundated with calls about malware/viruses on Windows PCs.
 
Comment

lincolntran

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2010
843
471
Hogwash. I'm sick of hearing this marketshare argument. How do you explain that before OS X, there were more viruses/malware threats on the Mac for OS 8 alone than there have been for OS X's decade+ old reign? This isn't about marketshare.

Here's the thing that people love to forget: OS X is damn secure. It's a UNIX system. Apple implement so many security features to prevent malware installations. They put additional sandboxes to ensure that if a malicious application is installed, it can't edit or access any of the really important stuff (protected by root, blah blah).

How many hackers out there would love to make a Mac-bricking virus? How many hackers would love to have that under their belt -- those brilliant brownie points of screwing a smug Mac users' computer. But it hasn't been done -- yet.

And that's down to marketshare? No, it's because OS X is difficult, if not practically impossible, to hack. With every new iteration of OS X they make more under-the-hood changes. With Mavericks they even changed how third-party apps used Accessibility features, to increase security.

Fact is: Windows is easy to screw. You can delete some registry entries even without admin privileges. All the services are stored in the registry. Windows updates, every single core function, or file allocation, is buried somewhere in the registry. The amount of times I've remoted into a computer to see the Windows Firewall/Update service deleted. Not 'disabled', full on deleted. Simply a folder deleted from the registry, and boom -- a right PITA to fix.

Microsoft are an utter joke when it comes to things like this. Using the marketshare argument is frankly a total insult to the OS X programmers, Apple's mentality, and people who get inundated with calls about malware/viruses on Windows PCs.

Market share argument is easier to digest for non-OSX crowd, not the truth.

The truth is, OS X is damn secure and stable, but the majority of windows users (who like the market share argument) are not ready to admit it.
 
Comment

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
3,726
Market share argument is easier to digest for non-OSX crowd, not the truth.

The truth is, OS X is damn secure and stable, but the majority of windows users (who like the market share argument) are not ready to admit it.

Exactly.

Windows NT's underlying architecture is trash, insecure, and vulnerable.

Meanwhile OS X is built on UNIX, which is clearly much more stable and secure. There's a reason the vaaast majority of servers and other internet routing hardware run UNIX-derived OS's.
 
Comment

jtrauscht

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2010
124
83
Nashville, TN
Market share argument is easier to digest for non-OSX crowd, not the truth.

The truth is, OS X is damn secure and stable, but the majority of windows users (who like the market share argument) are not ready to admit it.

You're right, OSX is very secure and stable, but OSX is still only around 5-7% of the market. That always has been a factor and remains so. We're just not worth the effort for them.
 
Comment

orioncrystalice

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2014
321
117
as a general rule, I find Mac (not iOS) users to be far more tech-savvy.....and considering the amount of pro admin tools OSX comes bundled with, it does seem that less of them manage to accidentally their OS...
 
Comment

gmcalpin

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2008
462
74
Somerville, MA
You're right, OSX is very secure and stable, but OSX is still only around 5-7% of the market. That always has been a factor and remains so. We're just not worth the effort for them.
That's nonsense. The first hacker to hit a huge percentage of Macs to "prove" that they're insecure would have HUGE bragging rights, regardless of the install base.

That doesn't happen because they can't. Period.
 
Comment

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,271
Exactly.

Windows NT's underlying architecture is trash, insecure, and vulnerable.

Meanwhile OS X is built on UNIX, which is clearly much more stable and secure. There's a reason the vaaast majority of servers and other internet routing hardware run UNIX-derived OS's.

That's nonsense. The first hacker to hit a huge percentage of Macs to "prove" that they're insecure would have HUGE bragging rights, regardless of the install base.

That doesn't happen because they can't. Period.

It's refreshing to see some common sense and knowledge still exists on this forum.
 
Comment

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,911
2,874
long island NY
That's nonsense. The first hacker to hit a huge percentage of Macs to "prove" that they're insecure would have HUGE bragging rights, regardless of the install base.

That doesn't happen because they can't. Period.
One of the jailbreakme exploits worked in OSX and would allow any program to gain root access to your computer with a click of a button on the web. There are other exploits as well that have been in existence that devs lets apple know about in order to fix. The fact that they haven't been utilized but existed only proves the market share argument. BTW I have used mac for the past 6 years so I'm obviously not bias either.
 
Comment

forcesteeler

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2007
276
586
Hogwash. I'm sick of hearing this marketshare argument. How do you explain that before OS X, there were more viruses/malware threats on the Mac for OS 8 alone than there have been for OS X's decade+ old reign? This isn't about marketshare.

Here's the thing that people love to forget: OS X is damn secure. It's a UNIX system. Apple implement so many security features to prevent malware installations. They put additional sandboxes to ensure that if a malicious application is installed, it can't edit or access any of the really important stuff (protected by root, blah blah).

How many hackers out there would love to make a Mac-bricking virus? How many hackers would love to have that under their belt -- those brilliant brownie points of screwing a smug Mac users' computer. But it hasn't been done -- yet.

And that's down to marketshare? No, it's because OS X is difficult, if not practically impossible, to hack. With every new iteration of OS X they make more under-the-hood changes. With Mavericks they even changed how third-party apps used Accessibility features, to increase security.

Fact is: Windows is easy to screw. You can delete some registry entries even without admin privileges. All the services are stored in the registry. Windows updates, every single core function, or file allocation, is buried somewhere in the registry. The amount of times I've remoted into a computer to see the Windows Firewall/Update service deleted. Not 'disabled', full on deleted. Simply a folder deleted from the registry, and boom -- a right PITA to fix.

Microsoft are an utter joke when it comes to things like this. Using the marketshare argument is frankly a total insult to the OS X programmers, Apple's mentality, and people who get inundated with calls about malware/viruses on Windows PCs.


Mac OSX was developed with Security in Mind. Most Apple Products are secure.

Great examples are Touch ID and Secure Element, Almost impossible to hack.
 
Comment

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,443
7,882
I'm a rolling stone.
And by the utter lack of meaningful content of your post, bs will answer you every time.

And I was going to say exactly the same, BS, I've been an OS X user since the first beta, never had any malware on my Mac, and now freaking Kaspersky says an average user had 9 malware threats, just plain non sense, or BS as the other poster said.
As others have said here, OS X is very secure, you almost have to be a a nuthead to get infected.
 
Comment

cycledance

Suspended
Oct 15, 2010
399
84
And I was going to say exactly the same, BS, I've been an OS X user since the first beta, never had any malware on my Mac, and now freaking Kaspersky says an average user had 9 malware threats, just plain non sense, or BS as the other poster said.
As others have said here, OS X is very secure, you almost have to be a a nuthead to get infected.

thx for writing it. i am lazy. i just thought this is sensationalism and typical for these companies.

havent had a single mac malware, virus or whatever in over 20 years. i use the internet heavily. i dl crap from everywhere. nothing. on any machine. i don´t know anyone with a mac in 20 years who had something like it. and i know and knew around 100.

again. i call bs.

edit: it actually makes me furious what this company claims.
 
Comment

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,428
And I was going to say exactly the same, BS, I've been an OS X user since the first beta, never had any malware on my Mac, and now freaking Kaspersky says an average user had 9 malware threats, just plain non sense, or BS as the other poster said.
As others have said here, OS X is very secure, you almost have to be a a nuthead to get infected.
thx for writing it. i am lazy. i just thought this is sensationalism and typical for these companies.

havent had a single mac malware, virus or whatever in over 20 years. i use the internet heavily. i dl crap from everywhere. nothing. on any machine. i don´t know anyone with a mac in 20 years who had something like it. and i know and knew around 100.

again. i call bs.
An average user likely doesn't even know what internet forums are, let alone how to even post in them. That should cover what might or might not apply to average users (and in particular to those below average, who represent a large portion of it all as well).
 
Comment

cycledance

Suspended
Oct 15, 2010
399
84
An average user likely doesn't even know what internet forums are, let alone how to even post in them. That should cover what might or might not apply to average users (and in particular to those below average, who represent a large portion of it all as well).

where do they get these malwares? seriously where are they?
 
Comment
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