Malware and viruses on Mac jump 400 per cent in a year

If you bought a MacBook or iMac because you thought it couldn’t get viruses or malware – you’re in for a nasty surprise.

Not only can Mac computers be struck down with the same annoying malware as other computers, they’re now targeted more than their rivals.

The most prevalent of the annoying programs have been named and shamed in a new report by anti-malware software company Malware Bytes.

It said threats on Macs rose 400 per cent last year outpacing those on Windows and in fact almost doubling the amount, with 11 detections per computer over the year.

Part of this rise was attributed to Apple growing market share, which made Macs a more enticing target for malicious coders and hackers than they had been in the past.

Turns out Macs aren’t as immune to malware as we thought. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Turns out Macs aren’t as immune to malware as we thought. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

The report said Macs were particularly under threat from annoying adware and unwanted programs, differing from Windows where “traditional malware” like Trojan horses (programs or files that hide their true function), backdoors that give hackers access to your computer, and programs that spy on what you’re doing.

This means the threats you’re more likely to face on a Mac are more annoying than they are dangerous. But some can also be a real worry.

“While these threats are not considered as dangerous as traditional malware, they are becoming a much larger and more noticeable nuisance for Mac users who can no longer say that their beloved systems are immune from malware,” the report said.

Immunity to viruses and malware has always been a popular selling point for Macs, and was the subject of one of Apple’s iconic Mac vs PC ad series from the mid-2000s.

Jack Gramenz –