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
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
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.

Tag: malware

Top Rated Comments

willmtaylor Avatar
53 months ago
I'm glad we can trust an unbiased source that doesn't have any skin in he game, like McAfee. :D
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
53 months ago
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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
53 months ago
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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IJ Reilly Avatar
53 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
star_nerdy Avatar
53 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cerote Avatar
53 months ago
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.
No app name to warn others? ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
precision finding developer mode

AirTag Precision Finding Interface Includes Hidden 'Developer Mode'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:32 am PDT by
A frustrated AirTag owner has inadvertently discovered the existence of a hidden "developer mode" in the on-screen interface that Find My displays when the Precision Finding feature is activated to help locate one of Apple's item trackers. Precision Finding is a feature that provides users with specific on-screen directions for finding a nearby AirTag. iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes ...