Do Apple Computers Get Viruses?

Photo by Michael Geiger on Unsplash

Painstakingly, the simple answer is yes, apple computers are vulnerable to viruses. Apple itself had to grudgingly admit that yes indeed Macs can be infected with Trojan horse viruses and other malware. Although, it’s still less likely to happen than in windows operating system and it’s not as dangerous when it happens.

Dating as far back as 2012, there have been instances where Apple computers were infected with a virus.

Flashback malware: this virus infected over 600,000 Macs in April 2012 and was designed to steal users’ personal information

OSX/ Kit M.A virus: this affected a small amount of Mac computers in 2013. It was designed to take screenshots of users’ desktops then upload them to a website.

OSX. Proton: it infected thousands of Mac computers in 2017 to steal user account credentials.

OSX/MaMi: it infected several thousand Macs in January 2018; designed to allow a person view the users’ internet traffic. It was also called snooping.

As a result, in that same year, Apple had to remove all features on their website that stated that its devices were immune to viruses. They then replaced it with a more cautious statement that IOS devices were only safer.

There are several factors that make it harder for Apple laptops to get viruses when compared to windows computers some of them are listed below:

  • Most computer virus coders are more familiar with the IBM platform and Microsoft windows which gives them a good understanding of how the system works, which makes it easier for them to create viruses to exploit the system.
  • Some of the main objectives of creating a target virus are to steal information or to create havoc which is targeted at businesses and government establishment. The majority of the computers used in such organizations are windows computers instead of Macintosh systems resulting in most viruses being targeted towards windows computers instead of Macs.
  • Most of the tools, script, and codes used to create viruses and other malware are designed for Windows PC

Apple viruses can take different forms and can go from just being a pest to ultimately damaging the pc. Mac can have malware and viruses like adware, Trojan horse, phishing scams, etc. if you have a feeling your Mac has virus, you can check using an antivirus to be sure, or you could keep an eye out for the following symptoms

  • Ad pop-ups keep on appearing.
  • Your computer becomes slow even though your hard disk isn’t full.
  • Your browser is beginning to have issues.
  • Or you just have the feeling that your computer may have a virus.

 Although Apple OS is much more secure than several versions of Windows OS, it’s still quite vulnerable. The most common ways to affect a Mac is through third party browser and browser plugin like adobe reader flash, and Java. Users of MacBooks install these plugins and compromise the overall security of the system.

But now that it's known that Macs can be infected by viruses will the whole environment of Apple devices change? Since hackers now know it’s possible so there is the fear that Macs will become a juicy target for virus writers and the fear that such writers will continue to attempt attacks.

There is nothing like a 100% safe computer, a Mac, Windows, and even Linux all suffer the threat of being infected with a virus or malware.

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