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December 11, 2019

Can Macs Get Viruses? The Inside Scoop On Mac Viruses And How To Fight Them

Ever wondered if viruses can infect your Mac.

Can Macs get viruses? What should you do if they can?

More people find it interesting to get a MacBook for themselves. This is because of the recent surge of its popularity following Apple’s (News - Alert) promises of better devices and more intuitive operating systems. Even PC users think of getting a MacBook because of the improvements it’s had in its software and hardware.

With the surge of new users, though, there are now more people unfamiliar with how a MacBook works. They ask questions regarding its compatibility and the hardware’s capabilities. The biggest question everyone asks, though, is whether Macs can get viruses.

Read what we have below to know the answer to the question buzzing in everyone’s minds.

Can Macs Get Viruses?

Apple was proud of their Macs when they first introduced them. This is because they claimed their products were impervious to viral attacks. Make no mistake, their claims were true at the moment they announced it.

The Mac and MacBook had great protection against viruses and other malware found online. The only problem was that they were only resistant to the viruses they knew about. Hackers and malicious software have evolved since then.

It’s harder to keep them at bay even with the security features Apple put in place. This makes it impossible to make anything virus-proof today. This also answers the question “Can Macs get viruses” for you.

What Viruses Pose the Biggest Threats to Macs?

Apple fought against a lot of the known viruses when they released the Mac. Malware has evolved though, as mentioned above, and Apple can’t keep up with protecting their devices against them. Here are the most threatening viruses and malware that you should know about.

1. CookieMiner

CookieMiner is the first Mac virus discovered in 2019. It drained the user of their cyber currency, making them bankrupt on the Internet. The way it pulled this off was by tracking specific information the user input.

It kept track of what the user typed when they logged into websites like PayPal (News - Alert) and their bank’s websites. It then used the information to hack into their accounts and drain their funds on the Internet. This made the virus the biggest threat for businesses.

Even when the user took every precaution, the virus still found out what their passwords were. It did it by logging onto their iTunes account. It looked into the text messages sent there for anything that could give it the password.

It also used Google (News - Alert) Chrome as its base of operations. Being the most popular web browser allowed it to hop on to different Mac users. The good thing is that it only stayed with Chrome, making it easy to avoid the virus once users knew about it.

2. OSX/Shlayer

Adobe (News - Alert) Flash Player is an essential software for any device. This makes it possible for you to view videos and different media on your device. It also made it possible for the OSX/Shlayer to hop onto different Mac devices.

Posing as a fake Adobe Flash installer, people weren’t aware they were installing a virus into their devices. The virus then installed another software called Advanced Mac Cleaner, which sold itself as Mac’s version of Windows Defender.

Hackers programmed the fake version of the Advanced Mac Cleaner to use Siri’s voice to tell you there’s something wrong with your device. It points you to another dump file that they expect you to erase. This makes most people believe that they resolved the problem.

The real problem begins when users try to open the Safari browser. They’ll notice that they’re locked into a Crossrider-related domain. This makes certain features on the Internet unavailable for them.

The domain also makes internet searches go slower. The Crossrider virus made it difficult for anyone to get anything done on the Internet once it settled on their devices.

3. OSX/MaMi

OSX/MaMi was a nefarious virus that directed your IP through malicious websites. This directed more traffic to the website which helped it get a higher ranking on the SERP. This made it possible for more people to discover them by chance.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the website was clean. However, it executed a lot of commands once your IP passed through the website. The website injected your device with lines of code that made it perform specific actions.

One such action was downloading files without your knowledge. It can also make you upload files without you knowing. They often look through file locations where you may store sensitive information.

4. Zoom

Zoom was a legitimate app that optimized video conferences between different Mac users. It wasn’t until June this year that it also made unauthorized calls while the user was away. There were also instances where it activated the webcam without the user’s consent.

It turned out that Zoom was harboring a virus in its line of code. The virus released a zero-day threat to users. It threatened them to perform certain actions in a period before the virus would act.

Users didn’t receive a notification about anything, though. This made it possible for the virus to execute its actions and hack the webcam of the user.

The developer of Zoom later addressed this massive breach of privacy. They claimed the threat wasn’t real and dismissed it as a bug.

5. LoudMiner

This is another virus distributed through installing a cracked version of an app. The LoudMiner was a cryptocurrency miner that installed itself on the device. It waits for users to unpack the cracked software before installing itself.

The virus then installed more software dedicated to mining cryptocurrency like bitcoin. It does this more than once and will drain the device’s processing power.

The programs running in the background often demand a lot of processing power to run. Put those on top of the programs a user runs, it will cause the device to slow down. Only a few people notice this before it gets out of hand.

How Can You Remove and Prevent Viruses?

There are different ways for you to get rid of viruses on the Mac. Some methods are only temporary if you don’t get rid of the source of the infection. To help you get to the source, here are a few ways you can remove and prevent viruses on your Mac.

1. Do a Manual Scan of Your MacBook

There’s no better way to scan Mac for virus infections and malware than to do it yourself. This works well if you have experience dealing with the malware in your device. Knowing what to look for makes it easy to get rid of them.

This is a slower method of scanning, but it’s more reliable than any software. The catch is that you should know what to look for. Not knowing what malware files look like makes the process take longer or produce no results.

You should also know what apps and software you install on your device. This means your memory of what you installed plays a big part in this method.

2. Get an Anti-Virus Software

If the method mentioned above proves too difficult for you, consider these instead. Anti-virus software does a great job of detecting malicious files. They then alert you when they find a file that looks suspicious.

Until you take action, the software quarantines the file. This disables the file’s functions and keeps it in a safe location. Doing this prevents the virus from spreading to other files.

Some anti-virus software also blocks high-profile viruses as soon as they detect it. This is a reason for you to get a well-known software from their websites. Developers often update their software to keep up with new viruses and malware.

3. Reconsider What You Install

Knowing where you get your files is important to note. Apple products are often cautious with what you install in their devices. Caution is not enough sometimes and people still install what they want.

This causes their devices to get malware from untrusted websites and developers. This often happens when people opt to torrent files from the Internet. These provide viruses with an easy way to hop onto an unprotected device.

You should do the same with software like virus scanners and essential tools. Get them straight from the developer’s website. If you need to pay them, it’s often worth the money you spend.

Paying for something isn’t as bad as having a virus infect your device.

4. Be Cautious with Whom You Give Personal Information

Another way for viruses to get on your device is through hackers. People often use your information to access your device and inject a virus into it. They can also deliver the virus to you in the form of a zipped file.

This is a reason for you to be careful with whom you talk to while you’re online. Hackers often pose as agents of an organization to get your personal information. These online scams try to get you to download a file or give up your info to them.

Once you do, the virus they injected on your device can ruin it. They can also drain your funds in any online banking method you have.

Protect Your Mac from Viruses Today

Can Macs get viruses?

Yes, they can, and they can be on your Mac right now. Use our guide above to know what virus you have and how to get rid of it!

If you’re looking for more similar guides for your Mac, we’ve got all you need. Take a moment to explore our other posts now and discover our Mac tips!

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