Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mal-where?

It was only a matter of time before the Macintosh operating system fell victim to a malware attack.  Frankly, I am surprised it has taken eleven years.  You're thinking, "Macs have been around since the mid 1980's!  Certainly, that is more than eleven years."  Yes, it is a lot longer.  The point here is that we are talking about OS X (version 10 of Apple's operating system).  Previous versions of Apple's operating systems got infected with viruses.  Its just taken this many years, and the popularity of the Internet to give Mac OS X users cooties.

So, what is MacDefender?  The short answer:  It is malware pretending to be legitimate anti-virus software.  It informs you that you have malware, and should pay to remove it.  It relies on social engineering to get you to give it your credit card information, and once you do the bad guys buy lots of stuff with your money.

The "point oh":  The point is don't go, "Oh, I need to get rid of this; I better pay to remove it".  You should know if you are running a legitimate anti-malware program on your Mac or PC, and you should know what the product is called along with the company that provides it.  If you have never used an Anti-malware product on your Mac it might be time to start thinking about it.

More information on how to avoid and remove MacDefender (also known as: MacProtector and MacSecurity) can be found here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650

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