photo credit: arstechnica.com
A Mac infection has been making the rounds this week that has people wondering if the days of innocence for the Mac are over. The malware, called Mac Defender, looks like a legitimate anti-virus product, and has convinced many unsuspecting users that their computers are infected and that they must pay for the program in order to remove the viruses.
Fake anti-virus programs aren’t new on Windows, and unfortunately, they are affective at misleading many users, so it was inevitable that virus creators would target the Mac with it’s increasing popularity. All fake anti-virus programs have countless names, but all work the same way. They generally appear as a large pop-up in the user’s browser, suddenly convincing them that numerous infections have been found on their computers.
The user, in a panic, clicks a button on the pop-up to download the program and remove the infections. In order to remove them, however, the user is convinced to give their credit card number to purchase the program.
It can be quite frightening to realize that scammers now have their credit card information, and in fact there are no infections on their computer, aside from the fake anti-virus itself.
Macs have been unaffected by most virus attacks, which is a big reason many people prefer Macs, and this is the first scam of it’s kind on the Mac. Apple’s phone lines were bombarded with calls from clients with infected machines.
Although the Mac continues to be mostly unaffected by malicious attacks, this is a sign that more are on the way. Users need to protect their computers. If you don’t have a reputable program installed to protect your computer against infections, you won’t be aware of when it actually happens. We strongly recommend NOD32 Cybersecurity for the Mac.
There are solutions to remove Mac Defender, and Nerds On Site is capable of removing Mac Defender for our clients. At then end of the day, however, we’ll give clients the same advice we give to those who use Windows…do not install software you did not actively seek out.
more information can be found here:
Ars Technica article
UPDATE: Apple has finally acknowledged the problem, but are still refusing to provide support for the thousands of people calling them. They will be releasing an operating system update to fix the issue. In the meantime, they are directing users to a support article detailing how to remove Mac Defender.