Attacks on Macs

By Anne Collier

There have been “a number of reports over the past few weeks about an anti-virus scam that goes by a number of aliases, including MacDefender, MacProtector and MacSecurity,” reports Larry Magid, my co-director, at the San Jose Mercury News. He says he’s been religious about protecting his Windows computers against malware but only just tried out some anti-virus software on his Mac laptop – because Apple “finally posted a Web page to warn Mac users about MacDefender,” which Apple says redirects users from legitimate Web sites to fake ones that say their Macs are infected with a virus. The problem is, it’s the claimer (MacProtector, et al) that does the infecting. How can you tell? The latest version of this scam software doesn’t require users to enter their passwords the way Mac users usually have to do to install new software. Larry cites computer security firm Intego as saying the malware messages look professional and redirects users to porn sites, giving them more reason to think their Mac’s infected and they need “MacDefender.” So don’t be tricked. Don’t install anything that doesn’t require a password and, if someone at your house has been fooled already and you see an occasional message saying your Mac is infected, ignore it and get the malware uninstalled from your computer. [While we’re on the subject, here’s Computer World on Apple’s new OS X Lion operating system that users will be able to download next month (if they already have Snow Leopard installed).]

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