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 in 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 could hack Katzenberg’s Mac because he had not updated 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 Tech-savvy hackers know that out-of-date OS and applications pose cyber security threats.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 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 overall security has improved.
Viruses, malware, and other cyber threats like ransomware have become more sophisticated. With the Mac market share increasing, hackers focus on MacOS, not just 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 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 never 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 still runs 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.
Sometimes, the Mac devices may not be compatible with the new macOS. Such users cannot upgrade their OS and receive those security patches.
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 social engineering attacks 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 now get infected with 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)
CrowdStrike, if you can afford them, at least $1200.00 per year for five computers. 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.
SentinelOne’s AI-powered security platform is used by some of the world’s largest and most security-conscious organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and financial institutions. It is trusted to protect against the most sophisticated cyber threats, including ransomware, zero-day attacks, and nation-state-sponsored attacks.
Or, as the minimum level of protection, we would want any client to have Malwarebytes Premium for $40 per year per user.
All are American-based companies.
Update DNS Records! as we discuss here in this blog post.
Perception Point sits before your Google Workplace or Microsoft 365 Exchange provider, stops evil, reduces spam, and helps your email and domain rating.
Mail Hardener, EasyDmarc or Redsift are great tools to help you get an A+ email quality rating and protect your users from attacks.
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!