MacOS suffers from a growing number of malware
MacOS suffers from a growing number of malware

According to the latest research report, malware targeting macOS devices has increased dramatically in the past 12 months.

A report by Atlas VPN found that macOS malware development increased by 1.092% in 2020 as hackers increasingly target Apple computing devices, including the new Mac M1.

A total of 674,273 new instances of malware were detected in 2020, which is a significant increase over the previous year (only 56,556 examples were detected).

Data indicates that 2020 will be the year of macOS malware, and many new and unprecedented viruses have appeared.

Atlas VPN indicated that aggregating all new malware discovered since the monitoring began in 2012-2019 would generate 219,257 samples, which is much fewer than it was in 2020.

From 2012 to 2019, 9,270 new strains of malware were discovered in 2018, indicating that 2020 is a rich year for skilled hackers.

Rachel Welch, Operations Director at Atlas VPN, notes that the reason for this record growth in threats is that new malware is now easier to design than ever before.

She added: These days, hackers do not need advanced programming skills because they can purchase malicious code outside the box and require very little programming effort to adapt it to their needs and introduce new threats.

A warning was issued earlier this year when the first batch of Apple Silicon devices appeared and detected the first native malware on the M1-powered MacBook.

MacOS security researcher Patrick Wardle detailed a Safari add-on called GoSearch 22. The add-on was originally written to run on an Intel x86 chip, but it can be modified to work on the ARM-based M1 chip.

According to an example uploaded on December 27th through Alphabet's antivirus testing platform, VirusTotal, the facility made its debut on November 23, 2020.

“The extension collects user data and floods the screen with illegal ads. However, it can be updated with more harmful features,” said Wardle.

Despite the increase in the number of macOS malware, Atlas VPN indicates that the number of attacks on Windows users is still higher.

The company detected a record 91.05 million new malware samples for Windows in 2020, averaging 249,452 threats per day.

This number means that the threat to Windows in 2020 will be 135 times greater than the threat to macOS.

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