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New 'MACDefender' Malware Threat for Mac OS X


Antivirus firm Intego today noted the discovery of new malware known as "MACDefender" targeting Mac OS X users via Safari. According to the report, the malware appears to be being deployed via JavaScript as a compressed ZIP file reached through Google searches.

When a user clicks on a link after performing a search on a search engine such as Google, this takes them to a web site whose page contains JavaScript that automatically downloads a file. In this case, the file downloaded is a compressed ZIP archive, which, if a specific option in a web browser is checked (Open "safe" files after downloading in Safari, for example), will open.

More information is available in Apple's support communities (1, 2), where users report that the malware is popping up directly in Google image searches.

Users running administrator accounts and with the Safari option to open "safe" files automatically checked appear to be most at risk, with some claiming that no notification of installation was seen or password required. Only when a screen popped up asking for a credit card number to sign up for virus protection did they realize that malware had been installed on their systems.

For those infected with the MACDefender malware, the following steps are recommended:

1. Open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor and quit any processes linked to MACDefender.

2. Delete MACDefender from the Applications folder.

3. Check System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items for suspicious entries

4. Run a Spotlight search for "MACDefender" to check for any associated files that might still be lingering.

Full details on the malware and the simplest steps needed for its complete removal are still being investigated.

Users are of course reminded that day-to-day system usage with standard accounts rather than administrator ones, as well as unchecking the Safari option for automatically opening "safe" files, are two of the simplest ways users can enhance their online security, adding extra layers of confirmation and passwords in the way of anything being installed on their systems.

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago
so much for the no malware on macs myth :D
funny how the apple fanboys are getting all defensive :rolleyes:
Rating: 25 Votes
43 months ago

WOW! Malware that requires the user to do a Google search, then download, and install. For all of this, it asks for your credit card number.

How can we ever defend our computers against such a diabolical threat?!


Hum, download and install are automatic. Good thing I don't use Safari.


As I understand it, Safari will open the zip file since it's a "safe" download. But that doesn't mean it'll execute the code within that zip file, so how is this malware executing without user permission?


I haven't seen this malware first hand, but a zip file can be made with absolute paths, making "unzipping" the file put everything where it needs to be to start up automatically on next log in/reboot.

Who's the brainiac who made zip files "safe" ?

so much for the no malware on macs myth :D
funny how the apple fanboys are getting all defensive :rolleyes:


No viruses on the Mac. There's been malware for OS X for quite a while now.
Rating: 11 Votes
43 months ago

lol

10 years and finally a malware attack.

Still unreal.

:D


Actually there's been malware for OS X since it was introduced. There is malware for every operating system.

Nothing can defend against user stupidity.
Rating: 10 Votes
43 months ago

Mac OS X fanboys really need to stop clinging to the mentality that "viruses" don't exist for OS X


They don't.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
WOW! Malware that requires the user to do a Google search, then download, and install. For all of this, it asks for your credit card number.

How can we ever defend our computers against such a diabolical threat?!
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago

Actually there's been malware for OS X since it was introduced. There is malware for every operating system.

Nothing can defend against user stupidity.


Well, that's true.

Thanks for correcting me.
Rating: 6 Votes
43 months ago
The article -> http://blog.intego.com/2011/05/02/macdefender-rogue-anti-malware-program-attacks-macs-via-seo-poisoning/

Here is how it works:

In this case, the file downloaded is a compressed ZIP archive, which, if a specific option in a web browser is checked (Open “safe” files after downloading in Safari, for example), will open. The file is decompressed, and the installer it contains launches ...


If the user continues through the installation process, and enters an administrator’s password, the software will be installed.

Rating: 5 Votes
43 months ago

So few virus for MAC than when one appears it is news... :)


Except this is not a virus. Some of you guys need a course on malware terminology. This is a trojan at best. Spyware at worst. Hardly a virus.
Rating: 5 Votes
43 months ago
Annoyingly this type of thing will become all too common. Damn Apple and their great products, making themselves popular and that.

I liked the security through obscurity world we've come from...
Rating: 5 Votes
43 months ago
So make it unsafe, it's not a rocket science, cowboy.



So much for apple computers not getting viruses


Educate yourself and find the difference between malware like this one and a virus.
Rating: 5 Votes

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