Security experts predict rise in cyber threats against Apple devices in 2016

Posted:
in Mac Software
Security firm Symantec expects cyber attacks against Apple products to rise in 2016, after malware attacks against iOS and Mac OS X spiked sharply this year.





"A rising number of threat actors have begun developing malware designed to infect devices running Mac OS X or iOS," said Dick O'Brien, a Symantec researcher.

According to Symantec's research, malware aimed at iOS doubled in 2015, while the number of Mac computers infected in 2015 was seven times greater than 2014.

O'Brien and Symantec released a 30 page analysis on the state of Apple security and vulnerability to cyber attack earlier this week.

The report noted that cyber attacks against iOS and OS X were "quite low" when compared to the company's main competitors -- Android in mobile and Windows for desktop computing -- but that the "level of Apple-related malware infections has spiked, particularly in the past 18 months."

O'Brien also speculates that Apple Pay could be a target of cybercriminals in 2016, given the financial incentive to finding a vulnerability in the system.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    1) Was there literally none until June 2014, or did they include a half-a-year where they had no data to make the "spike" look more threatening?

    2) I'm curious was constitutes malware by their definition.

    3) I'd think the percentage of devices that have been breached would be a useful metric.

    4) I really wish the "Contrary to some beliefs, the Mac OS X environment is not free from malware," argument would end. I've only ever ever hear that argument from people that a) hate Apple, and b) never used an Apple product.
    starbird73macky the mackyjay-tbrometheuscornchip
  • Reply 2 of 35
    "And make sure you press people keep checking back with us, as much as you can in 2016!  It's not like the extra hype hurts our business!"
    -Symantec
    SpamSandwichcornchip
  • Reply 3 of 35
    "I heard the term 'threat actors' in a spy movie, and it sounds so much scarier than hacker."
    -Dick @ Symantec
    SpamSandwichcornchip
  • Reply 4 of 35
    "Apple Pay could be a target of cybercriminals.  They could even be hiding underneath Apple Watch Docks."
    -Dick @ Symantec
    macky the mackySpamSandwichcornchipdamn_its_hot
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Soli said:
    1) Was there literally none until June 2014, or did they include a half-a-year where they had no data to make the "spike" look more threatening?

    2) I'm curious was constitutes malware by their definition.

    3) I'd think the percentage of devices that have been breached would be a useful metric.

    4) I really wish the "Contrary to some beliefs, the Mac OS X environment is not free from malware," argument would end. I've only ever ever hear that argument from people that a) hate Apple, and b) never used an Apple product.
    I'm curious if they are counting the Xcode malware in their figures? You can't blame Apple for that when developers shouldn't have been dowloading Xcode from a non Apple website. 
    macky the mackyjay-tmwhitecornchip
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Most of all Mac malware requires either access to the machine, access to a flash drive you are going to use, or really stupid user behavior (yes I want to see actress  xxxxx nude!!!  even though I never asked for this posting...)  .

    There are NO viruses in the wild (ok, not really and Apple has been super great patching any noted holes in the system very quickly.  

    Just saying here. 
    magman1979
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Well, Symantec is a Windows product, with number of folks moving to Apple based products I am sure they are seeing a drop of in business, so they have to make it up somewhere. This would be a good start. I for one would never use a windows based product to protect a mac. I do use Intego (Mac based) https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/ because I like there backup program. In the 6 plus years I have been using it I have only found a malware item once and that was because I clicked where I should not have :)
    macky the mackymwhitecornchip
  • Reply 8 of 35
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    sog35 said:
    Total and utter bullshit.

    This is just an ad to sell their spyware
    So, let's clarify this,
    Apple's ad = good
    everyone else's ad = bad. 
    jackansisingularity
  • Reply 9 of 35
    eldernorm said:
    Most of all Mac malware requires either access to the machine, access to a flash drive you are going to use, or really stupid user behavior (yes I want to see actress  xxxxx nude!!!  even though I never asked for this posting...)  .

    There are NO viruses in the wild (ok, not really and Apple has been super great patching any noted holes in the system very quickly.  

    Just saying here. 

    Not so much. There was at least one vulnerability (a fairly big one) in 10.10 that Apple "won't fixed" because the fix was in 10.11, except 10.11 was still in beta and several weeks from release at that point. 

    And I'm sorry if it hurts feelings, but OS X malware is a thing. Not huge, but it exists. 
  • Reply 10 of 35
    In other new, makers of home security systems predict more burglaries and home invasions in 2016. 
    SpamSandwichcornchipmagman1979damn_its_hot
  • Reply 11 of 35
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,678member
    sog35 said:
    Total and utter bullshit.

    This is just an ad to sell their spyware
    So, let's clarify this,
    Apple's ad = good
    everyone else's ad = bad. 
    I think of it this way: I trust Apple because of the way their products work for me. I don't trust "everyone else's" products because in general they don't work for me.
    mwhitebrometheusmagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 35
    I've been hearing this prediction for many years now. Of course the Apple ecosystem is a primary target, it's where most of the money circulates. But it's all social engineering nowadays. The last time I saw a Mac virus was in OS 6 I think, and there were some 50 in total ever if I recall correctly. Nevertheless, I run Virus Scanner Plus from the App Store. Nice app, installs browser protection modules. It has no subscription to my amazement, just the one time purchase. It finds the usual Windows stuff of course and the latest malware it found was in the Mac DivX updater.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    I'm curious if they are counting the Xcode malware in their figures? You can't blame Apple for that when developers shouldn't have been dowloading Xcode from a non Apple website. 
    My guess is they are.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    How much of that activity is due to government sponsored hacking?
    edited December 2015 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 35
    eightzero said:
    sog35 said:
    Total and utter bullshit.

    This is just an ad to sell their spyware
    So, let's clarify this,
    Apple's ad = good
    everyone else's ad = bad. 
    I think of it this way: I trust Apple because of the way their products work for me. I don't trust "everyone else's" products because in general they don't work for me.
    So you want Apple to become Acme and make everything? 
  • Reply 16 of 35
    jony0jony0 Posts: 354member
    Soli said:
    1) Was there literally none until June 2014, or did they include a half-a-year where they had no data to make the "spike" look more threatening?

    2) I'm curious was constitutes malware by their definition.

    3) I'd think the percentage of devices that have been breached would be a useful metric.

    4) I really wish the "Contrary to some beliefs, the Mac OS X environment is not free from malware," argument would end. I've only ever ever hear that argument from people that a) hate Apple, and b) never used an Apple product.
    I'm curious if they are counting the Xcode malware in their figures? You can't blame Apple for that when developers shouldn't have been dowloading Xcode from a non Apple website. 

    I don’t know, but the answer may or may not be in their 30 page analysis. Yet I do know that I will not read it (TL;DR), let alone get baited for giving them the click. I will however disclose my personal simple methodology that answers those type of questions from those type of people, which has given statistically good results in the past and I suspect for the foreseeable future. The answer usually is the same as the identical answers to this simple 2 pronged question :

    Would this make Apple look bad and would they have done the same for any other company ? 

  • Reply 17 of 35
    jony0jony0 Posts: 354member
    Sorry, small typo  :

    Would this make Apple look bad and would they have done the exact opposite for any other company ?
  • Reply 18 of 35
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    jony0 said:
    Sorry, small typo  :

    Would this make Apple look bad and would they have done the exact opposite for any other company ?
    You can edit your posts for up to 4 hours after posting.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,044member
    eldernorm said:
    Most of all Mac malware requires either access to the machine, access to a flash drive you are going to use, or really stupid user behavior (yes I want to see actress  xxxxx nude!!!  even though I never asked for this posting...)  .

    There are NO viruses in the wild (ok, not really and Apple has been super great patching any noted holes in the system very quickly.  

    Just saying here. 

    Not so much. There was at least one vulnerability (a fairly big one) in 10.10 that Apple "won't fixed" because the fix was in 10.11, except 10.11 was still in beta and several weeks from release at that point. 

    And I'm sorry if it hurts feelings, but OS X malware is a thing. Not huge, but it exists. 
    Vulnerability IS NOT an attack. 
  • Reply 20 of 35
    sog35 said:
    Total and utter bullshit.

    This is just an ad to sell their spyware
    So, let's clarify this,
    Apple's ad = good
    everyone else's ad = bad. 
    when the ad is masquerading as a security report, yes. duh. 

    your anti Apple agenda is tiring. 
    magman1979
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