Report: Almost 50% of macOS malware comes from this one source


Elastic Security Labs is out with its inaugural report on software threats in 2022. Interesting findings include how the total amount of malware discovered breaks down by operating system, the most popular type of malware overall, and specifically the most used malware on Mac.

Elastic Security Labs shared the 40-page security report this morning with much of it focusing on Windows and Linux malware. That makes sense given the vast majority found are aimed at those operating systems.

When it comes to the percentage of malware by OS, 54.4% of it was found on Windows, 39.4% was on Linux, and just 6.2% was found on macOS.

For the company’s approach to identifying malware, it says “Elastic Security solution telemetry is generated by a diverse population of sensors and data sources which are too numerous to describe concisely, including sensors not developed by Elastic.”

For the malware found on Mac, Elastic found that almost 50% of it came from just one source, MacKeeper.

“For MacOS file signatures, MacKeeper ranked the highest at ~48% of all detections, with XCSSet
in the second-place position at not quite 17%. MacKeeper is a utility software suite for macOS endpoints designed to help optimize resources and monitor internal resources. While its initial purpose is to aid MacOS users, often it can be abused by adversaries since it already has extensive permissions and access to processes and files.”

And when looking at the big picture across all the malware it found in all operating systems, trojans were the most commonly used at 80.5% with cryptominers coming in second at 11.3%.

Check out more from Elastic Security Labs on its website including the full, downloadable report.

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