Cybercriminals are targeting Apple devices and the new payment systems, such as Apple Pay. Security experts fear attacks on Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) has more than doubled this year and threats to Mac computers also rose.
FireEye also predicts 2016 will see more Apple malware and Apple Pay could be targeted.
Dick O’Brien, a researcher at Symantec is seeing the range of threats multiply. Apple remains a relatively safe platform though a monthly average of between 10,000 and 70,000 Mac computers infected with malware, comparatively far fewer than Windows desktops.
The unlocked devices are particularly vulnerable to attacks. The greyware applications that may not have malware attached but can still annoy users with unwanted ads or tracking. A corporate espionage group known as Butterfly which attacked multi-billion dollar companies in 2015 had developed malware tools that attacked both Windows and Apple computers.
According to Bryce Boland, chief technology officer at FireEye, attackers are increasingly “finding ways into Apple’s walled garden, and that will ramp up next year”. The introduction of new payment systems, such as Apple Pay, will make hackers spend their “time and effort” to develop new malware, FireEye said. Mr O’Brien said: “We haven’t yet seen any threats targeting Apple Pay but anything that involves a financial transaction will be of interest to hackers.”