Hacker attacks on Mac users are 10x as high as they were in 2019, report says

Apple Mac Studio
(Image credit: Apple)

The number of cyber criminals operating on the Dark Web who are focusing on macOS has surged significantly, according to findings from Accenture's Cyber Threat Intelligence (ACTI) unit.

Accenture's data suggests that there's been a huge tenfold increase in cyber attacks targeting some of the best Mac computers since 2019, with the majority of the incidents taking place over the past 18 months. 

While Accenture acknowledges that threats have been mostly directed at Windows and Linux devices in the past, it's now naive to think that Mac users are safe. The ACTI team say they've seen a vast Dark Web community of skilled cyber attackers who have set their sights specifically on Macs.

As part of Accenture's report, the company highlighted some of these Mac specific threats, including well-known threat actors creating specific ransomware strains to target Macs, as well as exploits for Macs that are being sold at a premium over those that are made to target Windows PCs.

Why the sudden interest in Macs? The Accenture analysts share their suggestions, but the short answer is: they're everywhere now.

"A combination of the increasing use of macOS in corporate environments, the high potential earnings of threat actors willing and able to target macOS and the surging demand for macOS tools and wares suggest this trend will continue," the report suggests.

Use protection

Rather than feel worried about the possible incoming threats to your Mac, use that fear and energy to take action. We have a guide to the best antivirus software for Mac filled with suggestions that'll keep your computer safe from unwanted attacks and infected files. 

Our current top pick is Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. The company claims it's able to stop 99% of threats without slowing down your machine's performance. It also comes with multiple licenses to use across devices. In short, there's a lot to like about this Mac antivirus software. 

While you're beefing up your Mac's security, do take a look at our how to check for Mac viruses guide to ensure your system is as safe as it can be.

Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.