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.

osx-threats
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.

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
87 months ago
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.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmcalpin Avatar
87 months ago
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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
87 months ago
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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H2SO4 Avatar
87 months ago
……...OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices being targeted.
OS X remains a tiny fraction of devices in use. Go figure.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Intelligent Avatar
87 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lincolntran Avatar
87 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...