Malware is not just Windows stuff: Attacks on Linux and macOS are increasing

Malware is not just Windows stuff: Attacks on Linux and macOS are increasing

This does not mean that Windows is safer, or that Linux or macOS are now the main target of malware. It means that both systems have received more attacks in recent years compared to the past, and although Windows is still the most widely attacked system, it is not the only one that many erroneously believe.

As they said a few months ago, the condemnation of Windows is its popularity and neither Linux nor macOS will save you from things like ransomware because they are not immune. And, according to the latest AV-TEST report, the malware created for them is growing.

AV-TEST however has a good news in its report on the status of malware in 2016. The independent organization that evaluates and qualifies antivirus and security software, indicates that compared to 2015 in 2016 there was a small decline in the development of programs of malware.

But do not be too happy, according to his report, the total number of malware programs for all operating systems now exceeds 640 million. And, they have identified some clear trends for 2016:

  • The amount of malware that is programmed exclusively for Windows is going down.
  • Compared to the previous year, the amount of malware for macOS increased 370%.
  • The number of malware programs to attack Linux-based systems tripled compared to 2015.

Windows is still the most attacked operating system, and the explanation has always been simple, it is the system whose use is more widespread. However, users of other systems can not assume that they are free of threats, during the first four months of 2017 the number of malware programs for macOS doubled .

With the “fashionable” that is the ransonware and all the noise that have made the massive attacks with WannaCry and NotPetya, news as the appearance of what could be the first portal in the Dark Net that offers Ransomware-as-a-servicefocused on Mac go almost desapaercidibidas.

And, if we look at the list of CVE of the systems with the most vulnerabilities detected during 2016, Mac OS X is above the last three versions of Windows. While the top 3 is headed by Android, Debian and Ubuntu.

The vulnerabilities exist, and although attacks against both Linux and Mac may seem insignificant compared to the hundreds of millions in Windows, the trend is still alarming . In 2015, Mac users faced 819 threats, while in 2016 they were 3033.

In the case of malware on Linux there seems to be a very specific objective: the Internet of things. Attacks DDoS massive as the end of October took advantage of hundreds of thousands of routers, printers, webcams and video recorders were kidnapped by a botnet. And all this without Mirai having fully developed its potential.