According to recent studies, the number of attacks on Apple users in 2019 increased by nine percent, up to 1.6 million in the first half of 2019, compared with more than 1.49 million in all of 2018.
The total number of phishing attacks on Mac computers in the first half of 2019 was almost six million, compared with 7.3 million for the entire 2018, according to a Kaspersky’s Threats for Mac report for 2019.
Although malware specifically designed for Mac computers is much lower than for Windows, researchers note that platform-independent phishing attacks pose a greater threat to Mac and iOS users, who may be less cautious than their Windows users.
Of the six million Mac attacks, 39.95% of them were aimed at stealing user financial data, which is 10% more. The most active malware family was named Shlayer, which forces users to install it, disguising themselves as Adobe Flash Player updates.
With so much attention given to the cybersecurity threats that are associated with Windows, this has created a false sense of security when it comes to Apple devices. Misconceptions about the immunity of i-devices have made people less protected and, therefore, much more susceptible to becoming victims of attacks of this type. As a result, we continue to observe a steady increase in this trend and an annual increase in the volume of these attacks, said David Emm, chief security researcher at Kaspersky.
Successful theft of iCloud credentials can lead to serious consequences – for example, a malicious user can remotely lock or erase an iPhone or iPad. We urge Apple device users to pay more attention to any emails that they claim to be from technical support, who request your data or ask you to follow the link, commented Tatyana Sidorina, security researcher at Kaspersky.
According to Korin Imai, a senior security adviser at DomainTools, excessive user confidence can easily become a problem.
Macs tend to look more secure because they aren’t targeted less frequently, and Apple Gatekeeper helps prevent the installation of banned apps. In addition, the Macintosh natively supports the sandbox, which limits the amount of information available to applications on the machine. The security meaning that many iOS users use is that they use phishers: the more potential victims trust a brand that pretends to be a message, the more likely they are to click on a malicious link, Imai said.
According to Imai, Macintosh’s superior security over Windows depends on several factors.
It depends on the version of Windows, the levels of OS patches and a number of other factors. The Kaspersky report emphasizes that prevention and security are important for any effective information security strategy, regardless of ecosystem. Caution when opening attachments, following links, downloading applications and starting software updates is good advice for users of any operating system.