Macs have always been more secure than Windows machines, however now it seems like hackers are targeting Apple computers more and more as they become increasingly popular. Computer Security Software maker McAfee, which reported a growth in Mac malware last year says the trend has continued this year too as malware targeting the macOS platform has grown 53 percent.
McAfee notes that it has seen more than 700,000 instances of malware on Mac computers, just in the first half of this year. However it is important to highlight here that the instances McAfee is including in that number are machines affected and not the total number of malware that affect the platform. For example as 9to5Mac notes, if 10,000 Macs are targeted by the same malware McAfee would count 10,000 instances. Another important thing to note here is that McAfee is counting Adware in its numbers. Adware that includes popup ads you see while browsing certain websites is not harmful to the computer or user’s data, its just annoying.
This makes the news less alarming however it is still something the Mac community should be concerned about. There are known Mac malware that pose great threat to user data and there have been incidents when users experienced ransomware and other types of hacks on their Mac. The Handbrake incident of last month is a notable example.
When we look at the figures for Windows though macOS still seems like a safe haven. According to McAfee 700 million Windows machines were affected by malware. The huge difference is mostly because macOS due to its smaller marketshare isn’t as lucrative for hackers as Windows. Apple’s Mac App Store, which only has apps from trusted developers approved by Apple is also a big reason why we see less incidents like HandBrake on Apple computers.