Apple can sometimes be slow to respond, but they have published a support note this week saying that there have been a series of attacks on Macintosh users – namely the spreading of fake ‘security' products.
Macintosh owners have been subjected in recent weeks to a rogue anti virus application which pretends that a machine is infected to get a ‘cure' – which means a purchase of the software via a credit card. Apple have taken some time to acknowledge this issue.
Apple say they will offer a tool to clean infected systems and to prevent future infections. Their support note explains “In the coming days, Apple will deliver a Mac OS X software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants. The update will also help protect users by providing an explicit warning if they download this malware.”
The people behind this malicious software package are looking for credit card information and personal details. They are paid per install and some collect an extra fee if an order is taken to purchase the ‘Mac Defender' software.
Sophos, a legitimate security software developer have a free anti virus client available for the Macintosh. Symantec and BitDefender have security software available which require a payment.
Graham Cluley said this about Macintosh based Malware “We don't see as much Mac malware as Windows malware. Not by a long shot. But that doesn't mean that Mac users can afford to have their heads in the sand about protecting their precious computers, unfortunately, so long as Mac users don't properly defend themselves they will increasingly be perceived as a soft target by cybercriminals.”
Kitguru says: Hopefully this isn't the start of a new raft of malicious software for Macintosh owners. We doubt many PC users will feel much sympathy as they have been dealing with similar problems for many years.