Apple Pledges to Take Care of Malware for Macs

Earlier this week we learned that malware makers are targeting Macs in an effort to steal the credit card numbers of those less savvy users. Malware removal is hardly ever the responsibility of the vendor; and Apple at the time had a policy even for its AppleCare extended warranty customers that the company couldn't intervene even with an antivirus software recommendation.

In a somewhat surprising move, Apple has decided to tackle the Mac Defender (and its variants) head-on in an upcoming software update. It even published a support document instructing how users may remove the malware if it has already been installed on their systems.

Apple's summary read:

A recent phishing scam has targeted Mac users by redirecting them from legitimate websites to fake websites which tell them that their computer is infected with a virus. The user is then offered Mac Defender "anti-virus" software to solve the issue.

This “anti-virus” software is malware (i.e. malicious software).  Its ultimate goal is to get the user's credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes.

The most common names for this malware are MacDefender, MacProtector and MacSecurity. 

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. 

In the meantime, the Resolution section below provides step-by-step instructions on how to avoid or manually remove this malware.

Apple's attention to defending its users against this malware is nice, but now the company has set a new precedent. With the growing popularity of Macs, the cases of targeted malware can only increase. Will Apple continue to issue bulletins and updates like this, or is this just a one time thing? It'll be interesting to see what will happen going forward.

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  • zybch
    rickjamesb1tchif Mac OS X and Windows were a 50/50 split of the market, and coders were working on malware for both OSes, OS X would still be more secure thanks to it's rock solid unix architecture. Windows is just a much easier target.

    And that is why the mac ALWAYS get screwed first in the Pwn2Own events??
    26
  • zybch
    JamesSneedIt doesn't matter how rock solid the Unix OS is for OS X, the biggest vulnerability is between the chair and keyboard.

    Especially if its a stupid ignorant macsheep sitting in the chair.
    23
  • drwho1
    rickjamesb1tchif Mac OS X and Windows were a 50/50 split of the market, and coders were working on malware for both OSes, OS X would still be more secure thanks to it's rock solid unix architecture. Windows is just a much easier target.


    Apple is arrogant (just like your comment), and just like Sony... and we all know how that story goes...
    22
  • Other Comments
  • nebun
    apple needs to admit that it's OS is not as secure as people might think and start investing in a top of the line security company to help them develop a powerful anti-malware package
    14
  • tuch92
    I kept trying to tell people who wanted to buy macs solely on the fact that they "never got viruses" that once enough people bought them, they'd be in the same boat as before. If the viruses get to the point where they are on windows this update method can't work.
    12
  • Anonymous
    if Mac OS X and Windows were a 50/50 split of the market, and coders were working on malware for both OSes, OS X would still be more secure thanks to it's rock solid unix architecture. Windows is just a much easier target.
    -26