A latest study is set to pose a challenge to the prevailing belief that Apple computers are immune to the sort of cyber attacks that plague Windows-based machines. A research firm Sophos has released a study claiming that one in five Macs have malware.
The report was released on Tuesday, 24 April 2012. It is based on a “100,000-strong snapshot” of the millions of Macs that downloaded Sophos’s free Mac antivirus software. The study has found that 20% of Macs were carrying one or more instances of Windows malware.
Such malware does not cause symptoms unless the Mac owners run Windows on their machines, but it can be spread to others.
However, this does not appear to be solely a Windows-based problem. The report has also found that 2.7% of Macs were infected with Mac OS malware. The majority of such Mac OS malware is composed of fake antivirus attacks, like the recent Flashback botnet. Mac owners can contract such malware by downloading email attachments, visiting rogue websites and unknowingly installing it via their USB drive. The chart shown o this page provides a breakdown of the types of Mac OS malware.
To avoid downloading such malware, Sophos has recommended running an antivirus program and keeping it up to date. Sophos is advising Mac users to exercise caution about which links they click on, keep software patches current and keep an eye out for email-based scams.
Image Source: Sophos