Posted by: David Harley | July 4, 2017

AV-Test Stats: Spikes in macOS and Android malware

AV-Test offers an interesting aggregation of 2016/2017 malware statistics in its Security Report here.

Particularly relevant to this site:

  • Looking at the growth in malware for specific platforms, AV-Test notes a decrease in numbers for malware attacking Windows users. (Security vendors needn’t worry: there’s still plenty to go round…)
  • On the other hand, the report says of macOS malware that ‘With an increase rate of over 370% compared to the previous year, it is no exaggeration to speak of explosive growth.’ Of Android, it says that ‘the number of new threats … has doubled compared to the previous year.’

David Harley



  1. LOL last mac virus – WDEF 1990.

    • I never bothered to keep an exact timeline for pre-OS X malware, but WDEF certainly wasn’t even the last pre-OS X virus (even discounting macro viruses – very few of which were Mac-specific – HyperCard infectors, or AutoStart, which is usually considered to be a worm). If you want to argue that there are no OS X viruses, that’s a defensible position. However, this site and the AV-Test report are about malware, not viruses specifically, and there’s quite a lot of that about, even if you discount stuff that can affect Mac users but isn’t Mac-specific. If you’re one of those odd Mac freaks who think that malware doesn’t matter if it isn’t a virus, congratulations. I didn’t think there were any of you left.

      • Happy 4th!
        I was once responsible for global deployment of virus software to our end users and in a meeting to decide McAfee vs NAV a couple of guys almost got into a fist fight. I was like “you can’t be serious – use a mac”.

      • I’m not American, so July 4th isn’t a holiday for me, but thanks anyway, and the same to you.

        I was responsible for deployment of antivirus to Mac _and_ PC users throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, as well as more general support for both platforms as well as VMS, Novell and UNIX. And I was very happy to use Macs then. Still do, but not so much. However, there were major issues ethen with people who assumed that Macs were invulnerable. But I’ll come back to that when I write my autobiography. Or probably not. 😉

      • 3000 macs on 5 continents – we never got hit.

      • How do you know they were never hit if they didn’t have protection? Not all malware jumps up and says “I’m here!” In one job, I wasn’t given budget for Mac AV until I demonstrated that Mac users were sending macro viruses here, there, and everywhere.

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