Macs have a reputation for being safer compared to PCs when it comes to viruses and other malware. Much of that had to do with security by obscurity, as hackers would target the much bigger pool of PCs. With the continued growth and popularity of Macs, though, it may be due time for Apple's system to be under attack.
Ed Bott, a blogger for ZDNet, posted an interview between himself and an unnamed AppleCare worker. The source said that AppleCare call centers are now getting bombarded with calls from customers who have been tricked into installing malware called Mac Defender and Apple Security, among others.
"Before this started happening, we had 7-12 minutes between calls generally. Now we’re lucky to have any time between calls," said the source. "We started getting a trickle of calls a couple weeks ago. However, this last week over 50% of our calls have been about it. In two days last week I personally took 60 calls that referred to Mac Defender."
Something that most Mac owners may not know about is that the AppleCare terms of service state that Apple does not help with malware removal.
"Our notice for Mac Defender is that we’re not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer," the source explained. "The reason for the rule, they say, is that even though Mac Defender is easy to remove, we can’t set the expectation to customers that we will be able to remove all malware in the future. That’s what antivirus is for."
Despite the clear rules, the source said that "most" AppleCare workers still offer help in removing malware simply because the people on the other end of the line are desperate for help.
Bott also obtained an Apple internal bulletin saying that Apple employees must refrain from confirm or deny whether or not a user's Mac has been infected. Apple employees also cannot make specific recommendations on security software, but instead should direct them to the Apple Online Store or the Mac App Store for antivirus.