Security firms Symantec and FireEye say that 2016 is set to usher in an increase in the number of attacks on Apple systems — following a rise in the quantity of threats to Mac computers, and the more-than-doubling of iOS malware in 2015.
Dick O’Brien, a researcher at Symantec, says the increasing number of attacks is part and parcel of the continued popularity of Apple devices. This year, the number of unique OS X computers infected with malware was 7x higher than all of 2014 in the first nine months of 2015 alone.
But users shouldn’t get too worried, though. “[The number of attacks is] far fewer than [those on] Windows desktops and we don’t want to scaremonger,” O’Brien says. “Apple remains a relatively safe platform, but Apple users can no longer be complacent about security, as the number of infections and new threats rise.”
On the mobile side, 96 percent of malware is targeted at Android devices. However Bryce Boland, chief technology officer at FireEye, echoes Symantec’s concerns by claiming that attackers are increasingly, “finding ways into Apple’s walled garden, and that will ramp up next year”.
Both companies note that Apple Pay is likely to be the subject of would-be attacks, although acknowledge that nothing has yet taken place in this area.