Beware: Mac and Android viruses are being spread more than ever

by Jake Doevan - -

The rise of Mac and Android malware

If you thought that cyber infections target only the Windows OS, you might need to learn a thing or two. It turns out that Mac and Android users should take online safety more seriously as there is a new wave of malware for these devices.

Mac and Android viruses are being spread

The level of risk is quite high for Android – the year 2017 is particularly full of new ransomware (especially “screen locker”) infections that attack users unexpectedly.[1] The same can be said about Mac users – this year has witnessed a sharp increase of Mac-related malware.[2] One of the reasons is that a lot of viruses sneak into applications sold in app stores because the malware-checking processes are still not perfected by the vendors.

The risks for Android devices

Android users are having more and more trouble with malware. The virus rate is increasing rapidly. Here are a few pieces of malware designed specifically for Android:

  • ExpensiveWall virus

The ExpensiveWall virus was spread via Google Play store. It was hiding in more than 50 applications, which were downloaded up to 4.2 million times.[3] Once it infiltrates the device, it starts sending messages to premium-rate numbers.

As a result, users had their phone bills increased without their consent. Additionally, the malware could collect private information. Fortunately, Google has deleted the infected apps from the store, but there can always be new ones.

  • LeakerLocker

LeakerLocker, similarly to ExpensiveWall, was spread with the help of Google Play. This is a piece of ransomware that locks the phone screen and threatens to expose user’s data to the people from their contact list.

It was distributed with the apps “Booster & Cleaner Pro” and “Wallpapers Blur HD”.[4]

  • Judy virus

Judy malware managed to infect up to 36 million devices, having been spread with 50 applications.[5] It functions as adware that generates fake clicks on ads from the victim’s device. It not only uses illegal ways of generating money, but also risks of infecting the phone or tablet with even more threats from suspicious ads.

Malware for Mac devices

Here are some of the examples of Mac viruses that were active in 2017:

  • MacBright virus

This Mac virus is classified as adware and a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). Once it infects the device, it is designed to show advertisements without the user’s permission.[6]

Those infected are likely to experience browser redirections to random pages, slower device performance, and tons of annoying ads.

  • MacRansom

As the title indicates, MacRansom is malicious ransomware that threatens macOS users.[7] It operates as Ransomware-as-a-Service. The malware encrypts all the files on the victim’s device and then demands money to be paid. It requires 0.25 bitcoin for the decryption.

  • MacAndChess ransomware

This is yet another piece of ransomware. It encrypts all the files present on the device and displays a message that instructs the victim to send a letter to and ask for payment details. [8]

The malware is most likely spread via email with malicious attachments.

Protecting your Android and Mac devices from malware

These were merely a few examples of what awaits the users that don’t take cyber safety into consideration. This is especially relevant when it comes to Mac users as these devices have the reputation as almost unhackable.

The general safety rules apply to all users – you mustn’t open unknown email attachments, click on suspicious pop-ups or other ads, or download applications from non-official sources.

However, most importantly you have to own a good cyber-security tool designed for your system. Most of anti-malware programs have Android and Mac versions, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t download one.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer security guru

Jake Doe is a security expert and news editor of His major is Communication and Journalism, which he obtained from the Washington and Jefferson College.

Contact Jake Doevan
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