Kaspersky draws attention to Apple device users
The number of phishing attacks targeting Mac users, iOS devices and the related web service ecosystem reached 1,600,000 in the first half of 2019. This is about 9% higher than the total attacks in 2018. The growing number of users of popular digital devices is clearly attracting more and more digital criminals. This is one of the key findings of Kaspersky’s report on the threats that macOS users face in 2019.
While the volume of malware that threatens macOS users and iOS platforms is much lower than that for Windows and Android platform users, when it comes to phishing attacks, things are quite different. As they are based on social engineering, most digital attacks have nothing to do with software. The research is based on threat statistics voluntarily shared by users of Kaspersky Security Network – a global cloud infrastructure designed to respond to emerging digital threats immediately.
Among the most common fraudulent mechanisms are those designed to resemble the iCloud interface to steal logins for Apple ID accounts. Links to such services usually come from spam emails presented as emails from technical support departments. They often threaten to block the user’s device if they do not click on the link.
Another widespread system is the use of forensics websites that try to convince the user that their computer is in serious security threat and will only take a few clicks and a few dollars to solve these issues.
“While technically these fraudulent systems are nothing new, we believe they pose an even greater risk to Apple users from similar methods of fraud against users of other platforms – such as Windows or Android. This is because the ecosystem around Mac and other Apple devices is generally considered a much safer environment. Therefore, users may be less cautious when encountering fake websites. In the meantime, the successful theft of login credentials on iCloud could have very serious consequences – an iPhone or iPad could be remotely locked or the data stored on it by a malicious user, for example. We urge users of Apple devices to pay more attention to the emails they receive and claim to be from tech support departments that ask for their information or ask them to click on a link, ” commented Tatyana Sidorina, a security researcher at Kaspersky.
In addition to the increase in phishing, the report also revealed other types of threats targeting users of macOS-based devices. The results have shown some relatively positive trends: the most common threats to Mac users have proven to be not extremely dangerous malware, such as banking Trojans, but AdWare threats, which are not – necessarily – fatal and are defined as “potentially unwanted programs” ». Most adware threatens users by overloading their devices with unwanted ads, however some of these programs can, in fact, turn into disguised, more serious threats.
Other findings of the report include:
The total number of phishing attacks detected in the first half of 2019 on Mac computers protected by Kaspersky’s solutions was nearly 6,000,000. In 2018, a total of 7,300,000 hits were recorded.
39.95% of them aimed to steal users’ financial data. This figure is 10 percentage points higher than in the first half of 2018.
The most active malware was variants of the Shlayer family, which succeeded in distributing the Adobe Flash Player updates.
To keep your devices safe, Kaspersky recommends:
Keep macOS up to date and all your applications and programs.
You only use legitimate software that you have downloaded from official websites or downloaded from the Mac App Store.
Use a trusted security solution, such as Kaspersky Internet Security that provides advanced protection for Mac, PC and mobile devices.
Read the full text of the report on the dedicated Securelist.com website.