Apple will soon be releasing an update to its operating system that will seek out and remove copies on users’ computers of “Mac Defender,” a fake antivirus program that tricks the unwary into forking over their credit card info.
Folks browsing the internet are lured to a site that plays an animation making it look like it’s “scanning” your computer for viruses and lo and behold, it finds some. The program then automatically downloads the MacDefender anti-virus program which is designed to mimic the slick look and feel of a normal Mac program. It makes make virus alerts pop up every so often and every few minutes auto-loads a fleshpot website in the browser. Users are then encouraged to “register” the program with their credit card, handing over their digits for a software license so that MacDefender will remove the “viruses.” Apple says the ultimate goal of the program is acquiring all these credit card numbers for fraud.
The easiest way to avoid this program, which also goes by the names MacProtector and MacSecurity, is to cancel the installation process and not enter their administration password. If you’ve already got it on your computer, Apple provides these steps for removal. There’s also a new variant that doesn’t require entering an admin password.
Macs are supposed to be impervious to viruses but, try as he might, Jobs can’t design a smarter human.
Intego Security Memo – MAC Defender Fake Antivirus Program Targets Mac Users [The Mac Security Blog]
New Mac Defender Variant, MacGuard, Doesn’t Require Password for Installation [The Mac Security Blog]