Mac Cyber Security Threats

Mac Cybersecurity Threats, You May Not Be As Safe As You Think

Apple has become the most prominent tech company. Apple devices are advanced in design with effortless user-friendliness. Is Apple’s cybersecurity flawless? Nobody’s perfect, so let’s discuss Mac Cybersecurity Threats.

Mac computers are secure, with built-in security features that provide adequate safeguards for the average user. However, Mac devices are not immune to cyber threats.

It’s a dangerous misconception that Mac users don’t need to worry about security.

Macs are more secure if you compare them with Windows devices that can get infected with viruses or malware. A report by Malwarebytes in 2020 asserted that Mac devices faced twice as many threats as Windows PCs.

However, recent events have revealed vulnerabilities of Mac computers, debunking the myth that hackers can never hack a Mac device.

The Ethical Hacking of a ‘Billionaire’s’ Mac

Recently, two security researchers managed to hack the Mac of film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

They exploited a vulnerability in Safari’s sharing preferences. The incident shows that Evildoers can hack mac computers. 

They hacked the device and also accessed the microphone to hear conversations. They didn’t even trigger the microphone indicator that notifies the user that it’s on. Such an attack compromises the device, its data, and user privacy.

They were able to hack Katzenberg’s Mac because he did not update it for a while. Tech-savvy hackers know that out-of-date OS and applications pose cyber security threats. Most laypeople don’t realize the importance of timely updates, which leaves their devices vulnerable to attacks.

Security Researchers attempted this ethical hacking process to show proof of identity theft. They succeeded in establishing Apple’s cybersecurity flaw.

Mac Cyber Security Threats

Mac Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities for Mac Users

Despite the myth that Mac devices are impenetrable, there are Mac Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities that these machines face. These threats have increased, even while the overall security has improved.

Viruses, malware, and other cyber threats like ransomware have become more sophisticated. With the Mac market share increasing, hackers are turning their attention from Windows PCs, which have primarily faced more threats because of their sheer market size.

Various threats that Mac users face despite excellent built-in security:

Adware and PUPs

Malwarebytes reported Mac faces twice as many threats as Windows PCs, primarily referring to adware and PUPs. While these threats are typically not as grave as malware or spyware, there has been an increase in the adware and PUPs targeting Mac computers.

Adware or advertisement-supported software generates ads automatically, whereas PUPs are potentially unwanted programs that usually come bundled with download packages, for example, a tool. These programs are susceptible to security risks and can bring viruses or malware to the device.

These threats are gradually becoming more significant for Mac users because Apple hasn’t taken the same strict approach as it has for viruses and malware programs with its built-in security features. This gap has resulted in malicious parties exploiting the programs to dupe Mac users.

Incomplete Security Patching

Although Apple has not ever accepted this, there’s a consensus that it typically rolls out security patches for the current OS and the last two versions. The ethical hacking showcase confirms this.

If a Mac device is still running on older macOS, it may not get the security patch necessary to block the exploit. As a result, anyone who is not actively updating OS and applications may fall victim to an attack.

In some cases, the Mac devices may not be compatible with the new macOS. Such users cannot upgrade their OS and receive those security patches.

Social Engineering

Social engineering isn’t uniquely a threat to Mac users, and it’s a big part of the equation. There’s only so much the tech companies can do to prevent users from becoming vulnerable to attacks.

Social engineering attacks employ psychological techniques to make users hand over sensitive data, for example, credit card numbers and pins.

There is an ever-growing threat to users, in general. However, Mac users are not immune because such attacks are becoming more sophisticated.

Watering hole attacks can be seen as a social engineering attack as these attacks exploit websites the target routinely visits. For example, Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) discovered hackers used macOS exploits for a watering hole campaign in Hong Kong.

Apple’s Resistance to Work with Security Researchers

Remember the case of Charlie Miller, when Apple banned him from the Apple Developer Program on discovering an iOS flaw? The company has a history of neglecting third-party advice.

There’s a need for Apple to be more inclusive of third-party researchers and analysts. It can improve security features further, discover issues, and resolve them with the cyber security research community.

Conclusion: Apple Cybersecurity threats

The Mac, although a fantastic computer, is not foolproof in security. Hackers are now targeting macOS, and Mac computers can fall prey to viruses, malware, or other cyberattacks. Mac Cybersecurity threats are real.
Stay up to date and have an antivirus program installed.

To prevent most attacks, we recommend the following Magic Combo: (Mac or PC)

What is the best endpoint protection for Mac Cybersecurity Threats?

CrowdStrike if you can afford them at $1200.00 per year for five computers minimum. Crowdstrike is the most advanced and complete protection we have tested and it is able to protect against nation-state-level attacks. This lightweight program protects your Mac and usually never bothers you until the day it’s saving your life.
The executive assistant director of the criminal, cyber, response, and service branch of the FBI, after 24 years, named president of CrowdStrike Services, Shawn Henry.

Or as the minimum level of protection that we would want any client to have Malwarebytes $40 per year per user. Both are American Based companies.

What is the best way to protect my company’s email users?

Update DNS Records! as we discuss here in this blog post.

Proofpoint sits in front of your Google Workplace or Microsoft 365 Exchange provider and stops evil, reduces spam, and helps your email and domain rating.

mailhardener.com is a great tool to help you get an A+ email quality rating and protect your users from attacks.

What can protect my iPhone from being hacked?

Zimperium is the best and only fully functioning mobile Security product for iOS and iPadOS that we have tested. DOD contract; ask the US department of defense.
When we read about a horrible attack that hit iPhone users, we remember the early morning email from Zimperium saying, “We got you, don’t worry,” usually naming the virus before you even hear about it on the news.

Contact us today to benefit from our Mac expertise if you need cybersecurity advice!

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