For many years Apple ran ad campaigns based on the idea that Mac computers were not vulnerable to virus infection or malware. While it was true that there were very few viruses written with the Mac operating systems as a target, there were still instances.
When Apple moved away from using the Motorola processors to using Intel and the introduction of operating system independent languages, the situation changed as it was easier to design cross-platform malware. At DiskEng we have seen a rapid rise in the number of Apple Mac computers and laptops arriving for data recovery which have suffered a virus or malware infection.
The Driver Behind Apple Targeted Viruses
A major reason for the initial interest in creating viruses targeted at Apple Mac computers was Apple’s original viewpoint that their operating system was more secure than others and therefore not vulnerable. Hackers and virus writers took this as a challenge, putting resources into finding security holes and how to take advantage of them.
The second reason behind the increased interest in targeting Apple users, is that their systems are in general much more expensive than an equivalent PC. This suggests that there is more money to be made illegally from taking control of an Apple Mac, to either obtain online banking details or install ransomware in an attempt to directly take money.
Main Virus and Malware Issues
There are two basic types of malware which can cause serious issues for the user. The first type is intended to solely be malicious just for the sake of causing damage, often deleting or moving important areas of the file system, such that it can no longer be mounted by the operating system.
The second type is much more insidious, either taking control of the computer to use as part of a botnet, steal user information, or even worse install ransomware which demands payment from the user before they can gain access to their files. Once ransomware has been installed, the only way to gain access to your files again without paying up, is to reinstall the operating system. Reinstalling the operating system will most likely cause the user files to be deleted, making it essential to send your disk for data recovery.
Complacency and Data Recovery
The main reason for the alarming rise in malware attacks on Apple Mac computers is down to complacency, leading to many users not even installing any security software. This situation needs to be addressed properly before it becomes an epidemic, causing mass data loss.
Our experience of recovering data from Apple Macs which have suffered a virus attack, reveals a very high data recovery success rate. If your Apple Mac becomes infected with malware which is not dealt with by your security software, you should turn it off and send your drive for data recovery.