Mac targeting malware is on the rise

Macs have long been considered a secure PC option, given that less malware is created to attack the less-used operating system. But that might be changing. Anti-malware security vendor Malwarebytes is warning users that malware attacks targeting the platform jumped 270 percent in 2017.

In particular, security experts warn that four new malware exploits have been identified by Mac users in 2018. One Mac user found that their Domain Name Server settings (DNS) had been changed, and they were blocked from changing them back. According to Computer World, this malware “also installed a trusted root certificate on the person’s Mac. The threat left the user vulnerable to fraudulent phishing websites posing as the real deal and man-in-the-middle attacks.”

Malwarebytes researchers have also found a new Java-based exploit for Macs that they believe was likely developed “for nefarious purposes” by an undisclosed nation state. Another attack found by the security vendor “included deployment of malicious links on a popular software downloads website.”

While Apple platforms tend to be very secure, the truth is that they are not impenetrable. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of Mac users’ lax sense of security.

“Apple’s macOS includes some good security features that are helpful, but they are easily bypassed by new malware,” Malwarebytes told Computer World.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Computer World gave a pretty comprehensive list. It recommends:

  • Avoid clicking links if you don’t know the sender.
  • Use strong passcodes.
  • Understand the risk of public Wi-Fi, and don’t access confidential or financial services using such networks.
  • Do not download software from unapproved App Stores.
  • Run a virus scan now and then.
  • Use two-factor authentication when possible.
  • Learn to use and understand Apple’s new privacy protection tools when they appear in iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4.
  • Read the Mac and iOS security guides.

Source: computerworld.com – Warning as Mac malware exploits climb 270%
Published: March 12, 2018