Malwarebytes released its annual “State of Malware” report, which reveals that Mac threats are growing faster than their Windows counterparts for the first time ever.

The report comes from an antivirus software developer called Malwarebytes. The firm says that it found the number of Mac threats rose by more than 400 per cent year-over-year. The organization reported on average 11 threats per Mac endpoint in 2019 compared with 5.8 threats per Windows PC. Mac endpoint risks rose from 4.8 to 11 as compared to 2018.

Malwarebytes also noted that in 2019, cyber criminals continued to focus on business targets with diversified threat types and tactics for attacks. Global business risks rose by 13 percent throughout the last year to reach nearly 9.6 m detections.

In addition, registry key disablers and a new wave of hack tools found their way into the top detections of the company. HackTools consumer detections have risen by 42 per cent and Malwarebytes believe this is a threat to be closely watched alongside MimiKatz in 2020, which is also targeting businesses.

In a press release, Marcin Klecynski, CEO of Malwarebytes provided more insight into the results of the company’s latest report, saying:

A rise in pre-installed malware, adware and multi-vector attacks signals that threat actors are becoming more creative and increasingly persistent with their campaigns. It is imperative that, as an industry, we continue to raise the bar in defending against these sophisticated attacks, actively protecting both users and businesses by flagging and blocking all programs that may violate their privacy, infect their devices, or even turn the infrastructure they depend on against them.”

Mac threats differ from those faced by PCs according to the report. Windows machines are more likely to encounter typical malwares. PUPs and adware are the most common threats in Mac. The latter mainly consists of MacKeeper and MacBooster-like “cleaning” apps. NewTab had topped the list on the adware side. Adware and PUPs, in general, are considered less harmful than conventional malware. That being said, the increased number suggests that these types of threats are becoming increasingly aggressive.

Adware is also a Windows epidemic, with approximately 24 million PC detections. That’s about 13 % increase for customers and 463 % for businesses. Interestingly, seven out of the top ten market threats were some variants of adware. Emotet and Trickbot, two forms of Trojan botnets and modern malware like Ryuk, Sodinokibi and Phobos attacked Windows PCs too.


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