The top macOS malware: Shlayer

Generally, macOS is considered one of the safest OS but cybercriminals are skilled enough to find loopholes and security lapses in macOS as well. As per the latest research report from Kaspersky Lab, the most widespread macOS threat in the year 2019 was the Shlayer malware.

According to security firm Kapersky, Macs have been the frequent target of what’s called the Shlayer Trojan. The company reports that this has been active since at least early 2018, but in 2019 specifically it was the most common threat to macOS. Around 10% of all Macs were attacked with it, and by itself, Shlayer represents 30% of all the Trojans detected on macOS.

According to Kaspersky, a common method is to display faked messages about Adobe Flash being out of date. The “Download Flash” button actually downloads the Trojan. This Trojan installs Any Search bar on the targeted Mac device to deploy adware so that illegal ads could be displayed. Apart from adware, the malware can intercept and collect browser data from the target device and alter search results to deliver a large number of ads.


The Trojan installs multiple adware including AdWare.OSX.Cimpli, AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero,  AdWare.OSX.Pirrit,  and AdWare.OSX.Geonei.

Significantly, Kaspersky says that even though the Trojan was detected almost two years ago, it is still prevalent.