Apple users are increasingly becoming victims of malware, phishing and viruses.

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In its State of Malware 2024 report, device management company Jamf reports that 9% of mobile devices users were caught in phishing scams, and 20% of companies were at risk due to poor smartphone configurations.

Jamf is a service for companies to manage devices such as the iPhone, and is also a Jamf lab that focuses on security issues. Now the company has released an annual report on device security, especially all smartphones.

Overall, it states that “40% of mobile users use devices with known vulnerabilities” and that “39% of organizations have had at least one device” with such problems. The report generally mentions iOS and Android together rather than highlighting any differences, but says this is because problems even with iPhones are on the rise.

More specifically, it states that “9% of users experienced a phishing attack in 2024 [sic], and 18% of organizations experienced at least one user experiencing a phishing attack.”

“[Although] mobile devices are made up of more than just the Apple platform,” the full report states, “much of our research points to growing trends, strongly underscoring the position that attackers are increasingly targeting the Apple ecosystem.” having significant technical resources. is aimed at developing new and hard-to-detect attacks to compromise iOS/iPadOS platforms.”

“Apple has led the defense on this front by making security and privacy central to its design philosophy,” he continues. But security features are useless if ignored, and Jamf says that's exactly what happens on Apple platforms.

FileVault, for example, “a core feature that provides critical protection for user data by encrypting it,” was reportedly “disabled on 36% of devices surveyed.” Then during 2023, “3% of [iPhone] devices had a disabled lock screen, and 25% of organizations had at least one user with a disabled lock screen.”

Expanding the flow of malware and viruses to Mac

“While the myth that the Mac is virus-free persists,” the report states, “Jamf Threat Labs is tracking nearly 300 malware families on macOS.”

“In fact, there are 21 new malware families on Mac in 2023!” it continues. The report then shows 18 forms of malware in a table of “new Mac malware instances studied and counted in 2023.”

Jamfa chart showing what proportion of an unspecified number of malware attacks are of which forms

There is no indication then of how widespread any of the listed malware. is. The report ranks malware by “% of all Mac malware,” with “adware” accounting for 36.77%.

However, the list of malware also includes what Jamf calls potentially unwanted applications (PUA).

“[This] category is difficult to quantify because it could be that the app was installed by the user knowingly, which is otherwise harmless,” Jamf says, “or it could be something that was deliberately hidden from the user during installation to mask its detection.”

Jamf Solution

Jamf recommends that users update their devices and calls it “perhaps the single most effective practice an organization can implement.” However, it says that “not everyone is able to keep up with the pace of innovation.”

“Although there are many reasons to delay installing software updates, security: fear of conflicts or an excessive number of agents that need to be checked for compatibility after each update,” he continues, “not applying OS updates means that production devices are likely running with known vulnerabilities that are waiting to be exploited.”

This is another area where the report makes general statements without revealing the differences between devices. Traditionally, iOS users have updated to the latest version of the OS at a much higher rate than Android users, although iOS 17 has seen a decline.

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