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Malware attacks on Macs were up 744 percent in 2016, according to the latest Threat Report shared by McAfee Labs [PDF]. Mac users don't need to be overly alarmed, though, because much of that huge jump can be attributed to adware bundling. macOS malware samples jumped up 245 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone just from adware.

Adware, while irritating, is less alarming than true malware attacks that can hijack a machine or render it unusable.

newmacosmalware-800x604.jpg

McAfee says it discovered 460,000 malware samples on Mac machines, a huge increase over 2015 numbers, but still just a small portion of overall malware out in the wild. According to McAfee, there were more than 630 million total instances of malware last year.

macosmalwaretotal-800x784.jpg

While most of the surge in Mac malware was adware, we've still heard about some alarming Mac-based attacks over the course of the last year, including ransomware distributed via trusted BitTorrent client Transmission, Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor, Xagent, which could steal passwords and iPhone backups, and more.

Mac users who want to avoid malware and adware should only download software from trusted developers and directly from the Mac App Store, which should keep Mac machines relatively safe.

Article Link: Malware Attacks on Macs Up 744% in 2016, Mostly Due to Adware
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
23,506
27,983
In the middle of several books.
From the article: "Mac users who want to avoid malware and adware should only download software from trusted developers and directly from the Mac App Store, which should keep Mac machines relatively safe."

I completely agree. I also think it is important to use content blockers, as well as being mindful of where you go on the internet.
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Settle down. Doesn't take much to have increases like that when you have such low levels to start with.

If you have 1 case and now you have 100, you've had a 9900% increase. It's still not a lot considering how many Mac users there are, but it makes for great attention grabbing stats to get people to pay attention to your website article or get them to buy your security product.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,463
12,667
Europe
Settle down. Doesn't take much to have increases like that when you have such low levels to start with.

If you have 1 case and now you have 100, you've had a 9900% increase. It's still not a lot considering how many Mac users there are, but it makes for great attention grabbing stats to get people to pay attention to your website article or get them to buy your security product.

Yea. I'd like to see those bar graphs on the same scale as used for Windows.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,745
14,730
In between a rock and a hard place
Settle down. Doesn't take much to have increases like that when you have such low levels to start with.

If you have 1 case and now you have 100, you've had a 9900% increase. It's still not a lot considering how many Mac users there are, but it makes for great attention grabbing stats to get people to pay attention to your website article or get them to buy your security product.
Who should settle down? No one is up in arms. Even the article says no one should be overly alarmed. Also, why would you use made up numbers when the actual numbers are attached. Seems only one overreaction so far.:rolleyes:
 
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JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
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6 months ago, I had my first ever malware incident on my Mac. I even use an anti-virus and don't load random apps.

It turned out an official app (downloaded from App Store) that must have gone rogue or had a backdoor problem.

It was definitely a wake-up call.
 
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Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
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Behind You
Who should settle down? No one is up in arms. Even the article says no one should be overly alarmed. Also, why would you use made up numbers when the actual numbers are attached. Seems only one overreaction so far.:rolleyes:
What's a shame is that he basically ruined the whole experience of overreacting to this news, by preemptively overreacting. What's the point now?...
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
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Settle down. Doesn't take much to have increases like that when you have such low levels to start with.

If you have 1 case and now you have 100, you've had a 9900% increase. It's still not a lot considering how many Mac users there are, but it makes for great attention grabbing stats to get people to pay attention to your website article or get them to buy your security product.

If you read beyond the headline, the article clearly explains the situation and that there Is no need to panic, also has supportive data.
[doublepost=1491515011][/doublepost]
What's a shame is that he basically ruined the whole experience of overreacting to this news, by preemptively overreacting. What's the point now?...

Click bait headlines .... don't reflect the story ?
 
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Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
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Behind You
If you read beyond the headline, the article clearly explains the situation and that there Is no need to panic, also has supportive data.
[doublepost=1491515011][/doublepost]

Click bait headlines .... don't reflect the story ?
I take it you didn't understand that I agreed with the post I quoted.
 
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M.PaulCezanne

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2014
822
1,571
Related - hopefully the Safari team will focus more on hardening moving forward. It's a pretty good browser now, but Firefox and Chrome have so many more extensions available.
 
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IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
If you read beyond the headline, the article clearly explains the situation and that there Is no need to panic, also has supportive data.

I read beyond the headline. In fact I looked at the linked document from McAfee. Neither explain what "adware" is, how it gets onto a Mac, how to detect if we have it, how we can rid ourselves of it, or why we should not be concerned about it one way or another. Otherwise, a very complete article.

So if the intended message was that we should not panic, then that message was far from clearly conveyed either by McAfee or MR.
 
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pdaholic

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2011
1,363
1,276
I used to be a pro at figuring out how to rid my windows laptop of disabling viruses. I started using a Mac 6 years ago and haven't had to reinstall the os once. One of the many reasons I keep throwing money at Apple.
 
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Scottsoapbox

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2014
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But Macs don't get viruses! :rolleyes:
[doublepost=1491522500][/doublepost]
I used to be a pro at figuring out how to rid my windows laptop of disabling viruses. I started using a Mac 6 years ago and haven't had to reinstall the os once. One of the many reasons I keep throwing money at Apple.

I haven't had a virus on a PC in over 10 years.

The only people that do are doing one of the following: installing things from unknown email attachments, installing 'cracked' software they don't want to pay for, or installing things that promise free porn.
 
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star_nerdy

macrumors member
Feb 6, 2017
73
290
The problem is that malware works. And you don't even need to create something malicious.

I worked for Apple support and people would call in frequently with their browser saying call support and they would tell me they had this happen before and it cost them $300 to fix but they couldn't afford that again.

The issue was adware infected the mac and when they reopened safari they would be redirected to an infected URL. The solution is simple, but safari into safe mode by holding shift as you open safari and then clear history and maybe go over their library files for known malware.

People throw money at these people because they don't know how to tell the difference between spam and phishing attacks or how to clear cache and history.
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,308
8,186
Here(-ish)
But Macs don't get viruses! :rolleyes:
[doublepost=1491522500][/doublepost]

I haven't had a virus on a PC in over 10 years.

The only people that do are doing one of the following: installing things from unknown email attachments, installing 'cracked' software they don't want to pay for, or installing things that promise free porn.
You think adware = virus? Interesting.

@GGJstudios , care to chime in here?
 
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