According to a security expert Apple users are targeted by cybercriminals who believe that they are more likely to have a disposable income.

Blogger Graham Cluley warns that hackers are targeting Apple users as they believe that they generally have more money. As it stands the majority of malware targets Windows operating systems due to the larger number of people using them, but Apple operating systems are becoming a more popular target, according to the BBC.

Wealthier Apple Inc. Users Targeted By Hackers

Security expert claims Apple offers richer pickings for hackers

Cluley says that users cannot “afford to be lackadaisical” about security. He reported a text message scam on Monday, which was designed to trick users into providing account information.

Apple has warned customers not to enter their details into fake sites. The scam encouraged people to visit a dodgy website where they were asked to enter login details in order to renew their Apple ID accounts.

“It tried to grab personal information and credit card details with the aim of committing identity theft,” said Mr Cluley. “They deliberately took advantage of people’s trust in the Apple brand to steal information.”

Two scams reported by Cluley

Cluley suggests an easy way to avoid being scammed. “Avoid clicking on links in emails because they might take you somewhere phishy. Instead go to the website directly and log in that way,” he wrote.

Web browsers like Chrome and Firefox are now blocking the credit card details-stealing website. According to the company support website its customers “should never enter Apple account information on any non-Apple website”.

“In general, all account-related activities will take place in the iTunes application directly, not through a web browser,” it explains.

Another scam reported by Cluley involved a supposed update for Adobe Flash which tried to get users to install a new version of the popular software. He wrote in his blog: “The best advice for many users may be to ensure that you have configured Adobe Flash Player to automatically update itself.”

Users urged not to be “lackadaisical”

At this point in time the Apple Mac OS X operating system does include a default safeguard that stops users downloading software that was written by unknown third-party developers. However in this latest attack the hackers were able to successfully get around this safeguard.

“The fake Flash update attack appears to have used a stolen Apple Developer certificate, suggesting that some third-party Mac developers may be being sloppy about their own security and putting the rest of us at risk as a result,” Mr Cluley told the BBC.

Cluley has an interesting theory about the reasons for which hackers are taking an increased interest in the company’s products.

“The truth is that criminals will go where the money is,” he said. “Apple products cost more than some of their competitors so it’s likely that their customers have more disposable income. That’s cash which the bad guys would like to have filling their pockets.”

While some Windows users may object to being effectively cast as the poorer cousins to Apple fans, the point still stands that the latter are becoming more of a focus for hackers. As the number of owners of the company’s products continues to grow, there is more incentive for hackers to try and find weaknesses in the system.

Rather than targeting apparently richer Apple users, the case may be that it is now worth hackers’ time to try and infiltrate the operating system.