For decades, it has been assumed that MacBook and iPhone devices are hack proof and virus free. Their advertisements and claims for being indestructible were never questioned. Yet, nothing is truly immune to intrusion.

Consumers pay a high premium for the slick and glossy Apple devices. Their superior brand has continued to sell and grow throughout the years. With each new release or upgrade, their developers have patched up security holes and weaknesses while managing to stay under the radar.

Apple products in the business world take up less than 4 percent, therefore they are less of a target for  hackers to attack. Why develop a code for malware or a virus for a product that has such a small market share? Creating a Trojan virus that thrives in Windows code and spreads around a network of similar devices, is much more effective than attacking a lone device. 

There are many applications that both operating systems need to work with, such as Java. Java has been the most recent mirror for a malware strain that is making its way around MacOS machines. The malware is called MacDownloader. It is a fake flash player update that is able to steal user passwords from the MacOS keychain. The user is prompted with a mandated update to their flash player, they click update, and the infection is installed. It grabs the user’s administrative passwords and free reign over the device. Macs are also susceptible to ransomware. If you open up an infected Word document with macros enabled, the virus will spread to all of your local files and lock them, requiring a payment to a hacker or a total loss of data. A re-occurring backup is a very good practice for all devices, regardless of brand.

MacBook users should stay just as vigilant as PC users. They are not immune to viruses, spyware, malware, or hackers. They should use the same standards as Windows uses. Do not use an unsecured wireless network, always use a firewall with antivirus security, and don’t open up documents or files from senders you are not familiar with. As the market for Apple goes up, the need for protection rises as well.


This post was authored by Amy L. Ekblade, Infrastructure Engineer at Robinson+Cole.