The risk of malware attacks on computers running macOS has increased by 744% according to Threat Report by McAfee Labs.
McAfee said it had encountered 460,000 malware samples on Macs in 2016, a significant increase on 2015 but still small compared to the attacks on PC’s.
— McAfee (@McAfee) 6 April 2017
It appears that much of the increase is down to adware bundling and whilst irritating, is not as serious as true malware attacks which can render machines useless.
If you are uncertain what adware is, it is a type of virus that automatically generates and displays advertising material, including banners or pop-ups, whenever a user is online.
Only last year, Mac owners were warned about a new malware dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Elanor infecting the OS X operating system and capable of giving hackers total access to files.
The attacks generally access the built-in webcam although Backdoor.MAC.Elanor could be downloaded from official sites offering Mac apps, Bitdefender claimed.
Cyber thieves have managed to hide the threat in a fake file converter application called Easy Doc Converter.app.
Bitdefender said the app was a “fast and simple file converter for OS X,” but running the app actually installs the Elanor malware on user’s machines.
Tiberius Axinte, the Technical Leader at Bitdefender Antimalware Lab said: “This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it’s hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system.
“For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your private files or transform your laptop into a botnet to attack other devices.
“The possibilities are endless.”
Here are some tips to help your Mac stay malware free
1. On your Mac got to System Preferences
2. Next tap Security & Privacy
3. From the General tab look at the option that says, “Allow apps downloaded from”
4. Make sure you tick the box that says, “Mac App Store and identified developers.”