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Apple products targeted by over 6 MILLION hacks this year, says report

A new Kaspersky report describes the increasing frequency of phishing attacks aimed at Apple products

Apple products like the iPhone 11 have been the target of around 6 million hacking attempts so far this year, according to a new report. Published by antivirus software development firm Kaspersky, the report finds that devices running MacOS or iOS are increasingly falling victim to malicious campaigns, despite having a reputation for being more secure than the Windows or Android alternatives.

Phishing – falsifying official correspondence to fool users into parting with crucial information – is the preferred method of harassment. In the first half of 2019, Kaspersky found that around 1.6 million phishing attempts aimed at Apple products used the Apple brand in some capacity – this figure is already higher than the total for 2018, which reached 1.5 million. In addition, of the 6 million-odd total phishing attacks on Apple products, roughly 12% were directed toward corporate users. 

In terms of malicious software, conversely, Kaspersky reports that the figures are actually decreasing, with a relatively insignificant 87,000 MacOS users complaining about accidentally installing some unwanted or harmful program. 

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The reasons behind this increase in hacking attempts are simple. Kaspersky reports that as the number of Mac or iPhone users increases, so too does the number of hacking attempts; although Apple has traditionally maintained a reputation as a designer of secure software, the report explains, this is simply because the firm’s user base is less numerous than that of its competitors. 

Kaspersky also highlights the significance of the Apple ID. “The attackers continue to mainly target Apple IDs,” the report explains, “which are the users’ key to gaining access to Apple’s infrastructure.

“Perhaps the theft of this type of data is now the most dangerous threat macOS users face, in terms of the balance between the probability of the attack and the damage in the event of its success. Moreover, our statistics show that this type of attack is likely to be on the rise in the near future.”

The report concludes by suggesting that macOS or iOS users with a healthy fear of malicious hacking attempts should consider following a few simple rules. These include:

  • Keeping apps up-to-date
  • Only downloading software from sources you trust
  • Installing security software
  • Accessing the iCloud only through Apple’s official website (as opposed to via email link)

Kaspersky stresses that it is simply no longer the case that Apple products are to be considered entirely “safer” than their Windows or Android counterparts. 

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