Mac and Android malware on the rise, reports show

New research suggest that malware for the two device families has spiked over the past year

Malware targeting macOS and Android devices has risen sharply in the last year, according to new research from security company Malwarebytes.

Detection rates of Android ransomware in particular has more than doubled over the course of a single quarter, rising by 137% from Q1 to Q2 2017, the study showed. Similarly, more Mac-based malware was detected in Q2 2017 than the whole of last year combined.

Malware on Android is hardly anything new Google's mobile operating system has been plagued by a series of successful, high-profile malware campaigns, including the Gooligan, Stagefright and Judy outbreaks.

The rise of malware targeting Macs has come as a shock to some, however. Apple computers have a reputation for being more secure than Windows machines, leading many to (incorrectly) dub them unhackable'.

"Mac threats are not taken seriously enough in the security community today," said Malwarebytes' director of Mac and mobile, Thomas Reed. "Adware and potentially unwanted programs are becoming a major problem for Mac users. Some very popular apps have been known to carry these threats and despite protections in place, the App Store is not immune to these threats."

"For example, the recent Proton Remote Access Trojan that plagued Mac users fooled many experienced, security-minded people who became infected. This perpetuates a crucial lesson that, despite what many Mac users think, they are not safe even if they are careful about what they download."

In order to combat these rising threats, Malwarebytes has today announced two new products - Malwarebytes for Mac and Malwarebytes for Android.

"Windows devices are no longer the sole victims of damaging malware attacks, as strategic attacks on Android devices are rapidly on the rise," said Armando Orozco, senior mobile malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes. "All Android users need to remain alert and proactively guard their identity and data on the go, just as they do on their computers at home."

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