Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mac users getting infected by malware

It’s been a long held belief that Macs are less vulnerable to security attacks such as trojans, malware or virus. While there do exist antivirus software for Macs, people didn’t really need them. Until very recently that is.

News has been coming over since early May that many Mac users have been complaining about malware on their systems. ZDNet’s Ed Bott even blogged about this as he got in touch with an AppleCare Support rep who claimed that this issue is getting worse.

Do NOT click on Continue

I can tell you for a fact, many, many people are falling for this attack. Our call volume here at AppleCare is 4-5x higher than normal and [the overwhelming majority] of our calls are about this Mac Defender and its aliases.”

The issue here is that many people are being targeted by a malware called MAC Defender which claims that your Mac is infected and then requests you to install it. Herein lies the problem that many Mac users unwittingly install the fake antivirus software which then takes them to malicious websites through search results (proper SEO poisoning!), leaking info and other personal details in the process.

The fact is that people need to be more educated about security issues for their machines, whether it’s Windows or Macs, all are equally prone to attacks. Unless you’re running Linux.You can also check out these instructions for in-depth info on how MAC Defender and some of it’s other variants can cause harm to your system and your personal info and how to prevent it.

As of writing this post, the Mac Support forums are down, so it’s difficult to verify how widespread this issue is, but keep an eye out for more info.

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