Mac Attack: 5 Common Apple Malware (+ Tips to Avoid Them)

Apple malware

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There are more than 1 billion known pieces of malware and countless other malicious software that we’re yet to unveil. 

The main issue is that viruses and other types of malware are now targeting all types of devices, so as a Mac user, you are not any safer than other device wielders. 

Are you concerned about the biggest threat to Mac computers? Here are 5 of the most common Apple malware threats. We’ll also include a few tips to help protect your device and stay safe while browsing the web. 

1. Atomic macOS Stealer (AMOS)

Known as AMOS, the atomic macOS stealer extracts important information from your Apple computers. This includes keychain and system user credentials, as well as actual files on your desktop or Finder. 

The scariest part may just be how the Apple malware first propagates — it’s reported that the creators managed to spend $1000 per month advertising through Telegram for a long time before being spotted. 

2. JokerSpy

JokerSpy is one of the most damaging malware your Mac can have. 

In short, it allows criminals to control your device, appropriate credit card details, monitor your behavior, and even access your cryptocurrency wallets.  

SEE ALSO: What Makes an Antivirus Vulnerable?

3. ShadowVault

ShadowVault is Apple malware designed to steal sensitive data as well as payment information from your macOS devices. 

This malicious software can steal passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, and much more. 

4. Exploit HVNC

First spotted in August 2023, Exploit HVNC is a new type of malware that can remotely control Macs that are not properly protected. 

The HVNC stands for Hidden Virtual Network Computing, which is the type of technology that hackers use to gain control of their targets’ devices. 

5. Downfall vulnerability

The downfall vulnerability is not actual Apple malware. Instead, it’s a vulnerability that affects devices built after 2015 that have Intel processors.

In short, this vulnerability allows hackers and criminals to take advantage of a flaw found in all Intel CPUs, which is a direct result of the AVX vector extensions in place. 

How to Avoid Apple Malware

Here are some great tips to help you avoid catching malware on your Apple laptop or desktop computer

SEE ALSO: What’s the Difference: Viruses vs. Malware

Encrypt Your Connection

Every time you connect to the internet, you open up the door for potential malware. A great way to minimize this threat is to use a virtual private network or VPN to encrypt your connection. 

In short, VPNs help turn your connection private, so hackers and other cybercriminals won’t be able to decipher the information being sent and from your computer, even if they manage to intercept it. 

There are many providers, but make sure to find a VPN app download that employs high-quality encryption technology. 

Avoid Suspicious Pages

Suspicious pages that are full of ads and other clunky content also pose a threat. 

The reason for this is that these pages are usually maintained by cybercriminals who are looking to target unsuspecting users. 

Additionally, you may also find that these pages have already been hacked, and the malware is actually responsible for overloading the site with ads and content. 

Never Open Email from Sources You Don’t Recognize

This may be a classic best practice at this point, but it remains one of the most effective as well. 

As a general rule of thumb, you should never open mail from senders you don’t recognize. 

Your email provider probably has a filter to avoid spam and block malicious content, but this isn’t always perfect. So, steer clear of mail you don’t recognize, and your chances of catching malware will be lower. 

Keep Your Mac Up to Date

Lastly, it’s essential to keep our Mac’s software updated. The reason for this is that Apple releases patches, security updates, and other essential pieces of supporting software that help keep Apple malware at bay. 

In addition to your OS, it’s important to note that this applies to all of the apps and programs on your Mac

Types of Apple Malware that Can Affect Your Mac

There are many types of malware out there, and knowing the different types can help you prevent breaches and identify potential infections early on. 

Here are some of the most common types of malware that can target your Mac devices. 

  • Worms: Malicious programs that replicate themselves automatically and exploit vulnerabilities. 
  • Trojans: Malware that looks like legitimate software but performs other malicious actions. 
  • Viruses: Pieces of code that infect other apps and run parallel to their host. 

In Conclusion

While Apple devices were targeted by fewer attacks in their early days, that gap is closing more and more. 

Today, you need to take steps to protect your Mac devices, or you may potentially be putting yourself in the crosshairs of cybercriminals all over the internet. 

The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your Apple devices from worms, trojans, adware, and other types of malicious software.