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Mac Malware Increases more Than 60% in 3 Months, Adware Increases

Mac Malware Increases more Than 60% in 3 Months, Adware Increases

A new report from Malwarebytes says malware threats on the Mac have increased alarmingly. Detected threats are reportedly up by more than 60% from the fourth quarter 2018 to the first quarter of 2019. Adware is said to have increased over 200% during the same period.

Malwarebytes’ quarterly Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques report has a grain of good news for consumers, as it indicates the number of overall threats against consumers are on the decline. Ransomeware and malware-based cryptomining threats dropped significantly during the quarter.

However, business users became an increasingly attractive target for the bad guys, as there was an increase in attacks against infrastructure and business users.


  • Overall threats against businesses have increased more than 200 percent year over year, while consumer detections declined by nearly 40 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Detections of Emotet against businesses have risen by more than 200 percent from Q4 2018.
  • Ransomware is back and targeting organizations with an increase of 195 percent in detections quarter over quarter.
  • Mac and mobile malware increased quarter over quarter by more than 60 percent, with adware in particular seeing a sharp increase.
  • A new section on privacy highlights user concerns about the safety of their personal information, and demonstrates how businesses are failing at protecting their customers’—and their own—data

Mac and mobile malware increased by 62% during the quarter, while adware grew 201% during the same period. Adware was the biggest contributor in macOS threats.

The number one Mac malware was PCVARK, the former top three threats – MacKeeper, MacBooster, and MplayerX – ranked in at second, third, and seventh place on the most recent list, respectively. Threats form the NewTab adware family increased precipitously, jumping from 60th place to fourth overall.

The Malwarebytes report is available in full here, and makes for interesting reading.

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