Security experts have warned Apple users that 2016 will see an increased threat by cybercriminals to Apple products, following a rise in such attacks over the past year.

Symantec, the global security professionals, have reported that the amount of malware aimed at Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) has more than doubled this year, while threats to Mac computers also rose. This report was also confirmed by security firm FireEye, who suggested that Apple Pay could be targeted.

Dick O’Brien, a researcher at Symantec said “Apple is an obvious target for cybercriminals because its products are so popular”.

Symantec reported that the number of unique OS X computers infected with malware in the first nine months of 2015 was seven times higher than in all of 2014, with a significant amount of this spike down to so-called greyware – applications that may not have malware attached but can still be annoying to users, by serving up unwanted ads or tracking their web-browsing habits. They also found seven new threats aimed at Apple’s mobile iOS platform, with jailbroken devices – those that have been unlocked – being particularly vulnerable.

Steve Sims, Technical Director of IT Positive added “we too have seen an increase in the number of Mac’s that have been targeted, and are concerned that hackers will increasingly be targeting corporations where Mac use is more prevalent, and with the introduction of new payment systems, such as Apple Pay, this will add a financial incentive for hackers, making it worth their time and effort to develop new malware.”

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