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The end of innocence?


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Mac Malware Monsoon in May

Mac users should understand that millions of Windows threats exploit the user, rather than the operating system. Attackers target the curiosity of the person at the helm of the mouse, who’s just a couple clicks away from watching that video, seeing a photo, or obtaining the system protection they’ve been “promised.” Sadly, many Windows users have grown accustomed to the tactics of those who seek to gain control over their PCs. But even sadder will be the non-Windows users who have lived in ignorant bliss.

The Mac malware problem is bigger than you think

How ignorant? Here's an update on Betanews' poll asking Mac and Windows users if anti-malware software is installed on their primary home PCs. The trend is consistent since the first few votes. Out of 832 respondents to the Windows PC question, 86.66 percent use anti-malware software. By comparison, 84 percent of the 582 Mac respondents don't have anti-malware software installed on their primary computers.

This Mac malware thing is really scary now

In a support document posted yesterday, Apple acknowledged that Mac Defender can infect Macintosh computers and that: "In some cases, your browser may automatically download and launch the installer for this malicious software." According to research released last week by Microsoft, 1 in 14 programs that are downloaded are later determined to be malware, and in most cases, the malicious software was installed by good old-fashioned social engineering.

How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware

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.

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