MacBook Pro viruses have matured into a serious concern

The security mechanisms built into macOS architecture are, thankfully, a major obstacle to massive malware outbreaks targeting Macintosh computers. However, underestimating Mac viruses is like ignoring the elephant in the room. Both the growing quantity and sophistication of infections raiding these machines, including high-end MacBook Pro laptops, are an issue on Apple’s agenda and a wakeup call for regular users.

So, what does the Mac threat landscape look like nowadays? It is dominated by adware, fake system utilities, and ransom Trojans. Let’s look into each cluster in detail.

Adware that zeroes in on MacBook Pro’s is a heterogeneous phenomenon. It encompasses ad-injecting viruses and browser hijackers. If the former type of malicious code infiltrates a system, it wraps the visited web pages with a virtual layer presenting a bevy of advertisements. The victim will be bound to see annoying in-text links, price comparisons, banners and popup ads while surfing the web, not to mention that interstitial advertisements will be splashing up behind the scenes all the time.

Unlike ad-injectors, hijackers focus on skewing browser settings in order to cause redirects to bogus search engines or sites hosting more malware. Cybercriminals thereby monetize the intercepted user traffic. The impact of Mac adware isn’t isolated to the browser only, although perpetrating browser extensions are the main components of their activity. It typically also meddles with the login items and regular system processes, so the fix isn’t as prosaic as it may appear.

Rogue security and optimization apps, also referred to as scareware, are an increasingly common category of MacBook Pro malware. The recent outburst of the culprit called Mac Auto Fixer, as well as the shenanigans of long-running baddie called Advanced Mac Cleaner, demonstrate this disconcerting trend. These malicious programs install themselves surreptitiously, report inexistent issues on the Mac and demand a payment for a pseudo remediation.

Ransomware infecting Macs hasn’t reached appreciable heights yet, but it’s evolving from primitive Safari lockers to real file-encrypting blackmail viruses. The sample known as KeRanger, for example, actually encrypted personal data on thousands of macOS based machines back in 2016.

Speaking of MacBook Pro malware prevention, it’s noteworthy that most pests tailgate their way into new hosts via software bundling. Therefore, you should treat all app installs with caution and make sure no harmful entities lurk underneath the default setup option. In summary, Mac malware is already an issue, it’s growing, and users should take more security efforts than they used to.

What viruses hit MacBook Pro laptops the most?

Mac malware didn’t splash onto the scene all of a sudden – it’s an evolutionary process that’s been going on for years. Cybercriminals are now busier than ever trying to undermine the status of macOS as one of the most secure software platforms, and they are succeeding in some of these efforts. Computers by Apple, both desktops and hi-tech laptops such as MacBook Pro, are equally susceptible to a number of different virus types. This article will shed light on the most prolific malware species endangering Macs these days.

The overwhelming majority of contamination instances comes down to adware. These infections exist on the thin edge between outright harmful code and benign software, which is why they are flagged as potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and these campaigns are difficult to stop in their tracks. There are two main ‘flavors’ of adware: apps that embed unwanted ads into web pages, on the one hand; and ones that cause browser redirects, on the other. In either case, the actual troublemakers are aggressive browser add-ons that sneak into Macs alongside freeware and shareware. One of the most widespread Mac hijackers to date is Chumsearch, which is a malicious browser extension that forwards traffic to an affiliated rogue search engine.

MacBook Pro users are also likely to fall victim to scareware. These are deceptive applications that pretend to be system utility tools or antiviruses but actually brainwash victims into buying their license. The app called Advanced Mac Cleaner is one of the oldest samples from this category that has additionally spawned spinoffs, such as Mac Tonic and Mac Auto Fixer. All of them claim to detect numerous security and system performance issues and then ask for money to fix them.

Cryptocurrency mining malware is gearing up for a rise in the macOS environment as well. Its goal is to harness the CPU and GPU resources of the hosts in order to mine Monero, Bitcoin or other forms of decentralized currency. The latest major outbreak of this malware took place in May 2018 and involved the ‘mshelper’ crypto miner.

Mac ransomware is out there, too, but it’s not a huge issue so far. In fact, most of these incidents are confused with persistent browser locking, where the infection displays a ransom note in Safari and prevents the victim from visiting any other site. A simple browser reset is what fixes the problem. Data-encrypting ransomware targeting Macs is also around, with the specimen called KeRanger being the most notorious example, but massive distribution of this bad code isn’t the case at this point.

To recap, viruses are making themselves increasingly felt in the Mac ecosystem. Avoiding them is a matter of proper software installation hygiene most of the time, therefore you should be careful when installing apps from shady sources and be sure to check these setups for covertly bundled objects.

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