IT Security

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Leading security firm, Symantec, has vocalised its concerns about the growing popularity of malware designed to target OS X and IOS (Apple’s mobile operating system). Symantec states that the amount of malware has almost doubled this year.

Other security Firms back-up this claim. Dick O’Brian from the security firm ‘FireEye’ stated that “Systems such as Apple Pay could be targeted” and said that it was seeing a monthly average of between 10,000 and 70,000 Mac computers infected with malware.

However, they also go on to say that the number of infected Apple computers is much lower than windows or Linux counterparts.

"This is far fewer than Windows desktops and we don't want to scaremonger. Apple remains a relatively safe platform but Apple users can no longer be complacent about security, as the number of infections and new threats rise," said Mr O'Brien.

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting Apple devices

In the past IOS and OSX has been more secure that competing products and operating systems. This is due to the development community being much more closed off than Windows and Linux/GNU Operating systems which are by nature open source.

According to Bryce Boland, chief technology officer at FireEye, attackers are going to start "finding ways into Apple's walled garden, and that will ramp up next year".

FireEye recently discovered that XcodeGhost, iOS malware that Apple reacted to the threat quickly to remove from its app store, had found its way into the networks of 210 US businesses.

Predictions

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.

Mr O'Brien said: "We haven't yet seen any threats targeting Apple Pay but anything that involves a financial transaction will be of interest to hackers."

Further Reading

For more information on this topic please visit the following websites:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/can-macs-get-viruses/ 
http://bgr.com/2015/10/21/mac-malware-increase-2015/