Here is how the Shlayer Trojan virus made it to the top of the list of malware charts, even though it is rather unadvanced.
There used to be a rumor going around that Macs don’t get viruses, but, during recent years, that rumor has become a lot less popular. Many Apple devices have experienced their fair share of bugs. However, it is curious how the most active malware on macOS, which affects about 10% of all systems, is arguably crude.
Kaspersky, the antivirus company, has detailed the ten most frequent threats that were encountered by macOS users in the past year. Shlayer Trojan was the head of the list, accounting for about a third of all detections. The malware has led the pack since it was first encountered in February 2018.
Simple and efficient
One might think that, in order to affect one in every 10 Macs, a trojan must be extremely sophisticated, but that isn’t the case with Shlayer.
Shlayer is based on some of the oldest means of malware: making people click on a malicious link and then pushing a pretend Adobe Flash update.
One of the main reasons why Shlayer is so efficient is the way it is distributed: The operators that are behind Shlayer offer owners of websites, YouTubers, and even Wikipedia editors a share of the profit if they push visitors toward a malicious link that prompts them to an ultimately catastrophic download.