Despite Apple’s best efforts, Mac malware does exist, we describe some cases below. However, before you panic, Mac malware and viruses are very rarely found “in the wild”.
From time to time you will hear of big profile trojans, malware, and ransomware that is targetting the Windows world, very rarely is this a threat to Macs. For example, the WannaCry/WannaCrypt ransomware that bought the NHS to its knees in May 2017 was only targetting Windows machines and therefore no threat to Macs.
Luckily Apple has various measures in place to guard against such threats. For example, macOS shouldn’t allow the installation of third-party software unless it’s from the App Store or identified developers, as per the Security & Privacy settings, that you can access in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. If you were to install something from an unknown developer Apple would warn you to check it’s authenticity.
In addition Apple has its own built-in anti-malware tool. Apple has all the malware definitions in its XProtect file which sits on your Mac, and everytime you download a new application it checks that none of those definitions are present. This is part of Apple’s Gatekeeper software that blocks apps created by malware developers and verifies that apps haven’t been tampered with. For more information read: how Apple protects you from malware.
In 2020 malware on the Mac actually decreased, however, as you will see if you read on, Macs are not completely safe from attacks. To stay safe, we recommend you read our best Mac security tips and our round up of the best Mac antivirus apps, in which we highlight Intego as our top pick.
Another thing to note is that the M1 Chip that Apple started using in Macs in November 2020 is considered more secure than Intel processors. However, malware has already been found on the M1 Mac, dubbed Silver Sparrow we have more information below.
But if you are simply curious to know what Mac viruses are out there, or have been seen “in the wild” in this article we will endeavour to give you a complete list.
We’ll start off with a list of what Malwarebytes says were the top Mac malware threats in 2020. Apparently these accounted for 99% of…