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

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Products Increasingly Targeted by Malware.

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting Apple devices and 2016 will see a rise in attacks on its operating systems, security experts suggest. Since January 2014, there’s been a boom of malware targeting Apple’s operating systems, both its venerable Mac OS X and the newer iOS, Symantec informs in one of its annual threat landscape reports.

Symantec is seeing the range of risks multiply while the absolute amount of threats targeting Apple apparatus stays low compared with Windows and Android. “This is much fewer than Windows desktop computers and we do not need to scaremonger.The Apple operating system – OS X – is subject to way fewer attacks than Windows, Symantec said, but the number was seven times greater this year and last. According to security firm Symantec, the amount of malware aimed at Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) has more than doubled this year, while threats to Mac computers also rose. The threats did not only grow in numbers, but they also diversified, ranging from simple adware to security vulnerabilities used by state-sponsored APT groups trying to covertly infiltrate business and government networks. Symantec released a report suggesting that more malware will target Apple computers and devices, and they are currently giving a heads up to businesses and consumers.

Apple remains a comparatively safe platform but Apple users can not be complacent about security, as how many diseases and new dangers rise,” said Mr O’Brien. A considerable quantity of the spike is accounted for by so called greyware – programs which could not have attached but can be annoying to users, by serving up advertising that are unwanted or monitoring their internet-browsing habits.

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. Symantec also found seven new threats directed at the cellular iOS platform of Apple, with jailbroken apparatus – those which were unlocked – being especially exposed.

During 2015, while the number of malware families hasn’t seen a dramatic rise, the number of infected computers grew in the first nine months seven times more than in the whole year of 2014. A corporate espionage group called Butterfly which assaulted multi- billion dollar firms in 2015 developed malware tools that assaulted both Apple and Windows computers.

Still, experts warn that attacks are becoming more frequent. “Last year, an average of between 10,000 and 70,000 Mac devices were infected with malware each month,” reports Tech Times Dec. 11. IOS continues to be viewed due to the more closed community that Apple runs for its programs but that’s changing as a more secure platform than Android, based on FireEye.

FireEye lately uncovered that iOS malware that Apple acted swiftly to remove from its app store, Xcode Ghost, had found its way to the networks of 210 US companies. This September, a company that discovers and sells software vulnerabilities to government agencies, announced a bug bounty program for an Apple iOS 9 vulnerability. According to Bryce Boland, chief technology officer at FireEye, attackers are increasingly “finding ways into Apple’s walled garden, and that will ramp up next year. The introduction of new payment systems, such as Apple Pay, will add a financial incentive for hackers, making it worth their “time and effort” to develop new malware, FireEye said.

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