security, hacking, vulnerabilities

Windows operating system is becoming more secure as compared to previous years and as that happens, more and more attacks and malware are being created for Apple Mac OS and Linux, it has been revealed.

According to a report by security institute AV-TEST, Apple systems are recording three times more attacks than in previous years. The report states the number of malware programs which targeted Windows increased by 10 per cent. But the number of malware programs specifically created for Windows systems dropped by 13 per cent.

Though Windows still remains the system which has been attacked most of the times, with 7 out of 10 new forms of malware aimed at Microsoft’s OS, Apple and Linux devices also recorded an increase of attacks by three times, research has shown.

In the macOS department, Trojans accounted for one of the biggest threats with 85.59 per cent of the attacks, while ransomware accounted for just 0.07 per cent. The top three macOS forms of malware last year were Flashback, MacControl, and Keranger.

Windows ransomware becoming rare

Despite the chaos caused by the recent WannaCry and NotPetya outbreaks, these file-encrypting extortion programs are part of a class of malware that made up less than one percent of 600 million unique malicious programs for Windows in 2016, according to AV-Test.

AV-Test argues that 2016 was wrongly named the “year of ransomware” but it did earn the title due to the damage it caused and its mode of action, which can be highly targeted at organizations or spread indiscriminately.

However, it does note that the fourth most widespread malware family in 2016 was the file-encrypting Virlock ransomware. And as Microsoft notes in a recent report, half a billion emails with ransomware downloaders are sent to Windows systems every quarter.

Mac OS, Linux and Android being targeted

Threats to Linux systems, such as the Mirai botnet malware, increased 300 percent in 2016, while malware for macOS rose 370 percent, from 819 different malware threats to 3,033. Most of these threats to macOS are considered “potentially unwanted software”

The number of new malicious apps for Android in 2016 reached four million, or double the figure for 2015. Most of these threats are trojanized apps.

Ransomware for Android remained a minor threat at 0.22 percent of all Android malware totaling 8,822, down from 12,521 last year.


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