iOS threats discovered in 2015 have more doubled from three in 2014 to seven so far this year, according to Symantec. The company also says that that jailbroken devices are the primary focus of a majority of threats. Out of the 13 threats documented by the company till date, nine can only infect jailbroken devices. It stated that the number of iOS vulnerabilities being found annually has increased over the years. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of vulnerabilities that affected the OS were more than that of Android. However, Symantec says that the trend has reversed and Android vulnerabilities are more than iOS.
Symantec also said that the number of Mac OS X threats rose by 15% in 2014. It added that the number of computers with OS X infected with malware in the first nine months of 2015 was seven times higher than the whole of 2014. It also stated that the rise in infections can be attributed to greyware like adware. Symantec added that the number of Mac OS X vulnerabilities has remained relatively steady in recent years and the number of vulnerabilities in the OS have been lower than Windows. Symantec’s Dick O’Brien says, “While the total number of threats targeting Apple devices remains quite low compared to Windows in the desktop space and Android in the mobile sector, Apple users cannot be complacent. Should Apple platforms continue to increase in popularity, the number of cybersecurity threats facing Apple users will likely grow in parallel.”
Symantec also says that the threats affecting Apple devices range from ordinary cybercrime gangs to high level attacker groups which develop custom Mac OS X and iOS malware. The company mentions the Butterfly corporate espionage group and Operation Pawnstorm APT group as examples of high level attacker groups. The Butterfly corporate espionage group infected OS X computers in targeted organizations, while the Operation Pawnstorm APT group created malware capable of infecting devices with iOS.
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