It has long been believed that the fundamentally different nature of Mac OS protects it from the wide variety of malware that plagues Windows PCs. However, there has been a steady growth in malware on Mac over the past few years and the latest McAfee Threat Report shows that it’s continuously on the rise.
The McAfee June 2017 Threat Report shows that malware on Mac continues to grow. It found almost 250,000 new instances of malware on Mac in the first quarter of 2017. The total for the quarter is now well over 700,000.
A graph accompanying the report clearly shows the rising trend over the past few years. Total instances were below 100,000 by Q4 2015 and jumped to nearly 500,000 by Q4 2016.
There has been a misconception that Macs are immune to viruses or malware. That has never been the case. They have just not been vulnerable to the kind of viruses or malware that PCs normally get infected with.
The reason why malware on Mac is on the rise is that malware has become more sophisticated over the past few years. Even Apple’s marketing efforts no longer claim that Mac OS is completely immune to these sorts of things.
McAfee’s report mentions that the rise in malware on Mac can also be attributed to adware. Malicious ads are normally delivered through hijacked websites or shady websites that have been set up for this precise purpose.
Nevertheless, the situation is still better compared to Windows, as during this period of time McAfee detected nearly 700 million instances of malware on Windows PCs compared to just over 700,000 on Mac.