There has been a dramatic increase in the number of malware devices targeting finances over the past 12 months, according to a new study.
A report from Atlas VPN found that the development of MacOS malware increased by 1,092% by 2020 as hackers continued to target Apple's computer devices, including new M1 Macs.
In total, 674,273 new malware samples were obtained in 2020 - a significant increase from last year, when only 56,556 samples were available.
MacOS malware upgrades have increased by more than 1,000% by 2020, the report said
Mac vs Windows
More Mac malware was discovered last year than ever before.
The numbers show that unfortunately 2020 has been a tumultuous year for macOS malware, with a number of new viruses being removed as never before. Atlas VPN noted that if all new malware was detected since it started tracking in 2012 until 2019, this would lead to 219,257 samples - far below the number seen in 2020.
From 2012 to 2019, the highest number of new malware viruses detected was 92,570 samples in 2018, indicating what the great year of 2020 was for wannabe hackers.
“Contributing to this record-breaking threat is the fact that new malicious software is now easier to build than ever before,” notes Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN.
"Nowadays, hackers don't even need advanced programming skills because they can buy ready-made malware code, customize it with a little code, and create a completely new threat."
Alarms were raised earlier this year when the first malware from M1-MacBooks was discovered in the wild, just months after the arrival of Apple Silicon's first devices.
GoSearch22.app, the traditional M1 version of the long-running Pirrit virus, generates revenue by infiltrating users with pop-ups and ads.
In addition to the rise of macOS malware, Atlas VPN has revealed that the number of attacks on Windows users remains very high. The company received the highest record of 91.05 million Windows malware samples obtained by 2020 - an average of 2 4 9, 4 5 2 threats per day, meaning there are more than 135 more Windows threats than there were in MacOS by 2020.