Apple promises Malware Removal Tool – Mac users continue to bury their head in the sands

An increase in market share, sure comes at a price in this segment! And that is exactly what Mac users are finding out…at a price!

Apple has long claimed that a Mac was secure, whereas this statement was far from the truth. Mac was attacked less because of its miniscule market size. It definitely made more sense to attack the Windows OS which was used by over 90% of the people, But now that Mac has crossed the 10% threshold, it has caught the attention of malware writers. Compared to the battle-hardened Windows, malware writers may now find a Mac, an easy target.

Several Mac users who were infected by the MAC Defender app have posted questions on Apple.com asking how to get rid of the application. In fact a do-it-yourself crime kit for making Mac malware is now also available on the net!

Apple had rolled out an anti-malware tool back in 2009 called XProtect. This tool is periodically updated to detect new malware on Mac. Apple has to-date company, offered only a bare-bones malware detection mechanism in Snow Leopard, but this seems to be changing.

Apple has posted a new support document KBHT4650 on its website, promising a removal tool or update for the Mac OS X users, that would find and remove MacDefender, MacProtector and MacSecurity the fake security software. The objective of this rogue software is to get the user’s credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes.

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.

It is now time to accept that a Mac computer too can very easily be compromised by low-level attacks – as demonstrated by MacDefender – and stop adopting the ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach.

Sophos offers a good free antivirus software for Mac . Mac users may seriously want to consider installing one now, just in case …

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.

5 Comments

  1. Ok first of all no OS is impervious to malware and/or viruses. That said Mac gets a a serious malware and all you windows only users start picking on the Mac users. It is a fact that OSX and *nix OSs get considerably less malware/viruses than Windows OSs.

    P.S.
    At least Mac’s malware is easy as pie to get rid of! 😛

    This message brought to you by a Windows, Mac, and Linux user.

  2. Grixal

    Why shouldn’t they? The Mac fanboi’s were always spouting gibberish by saying how the Mac doesn’t get viruses and so on…

    A little red faced now aren’t they… and it will only get worse as time goes by.

  3. CK

    OS X & Linux do get far less malware. The real question to ask: Is because of the security in the OS, or is it something else, like the small market share? Like the Heglian Dialect, the answer probably lies somewhere in between.

    This Mac malware is pretty easy to remove…a windows users would be so luck as to be able to remove malware in just a few minutes. However, I expect that to change.

    This article touches on something that I think hasn’t been mentioned often enough in the last few years: That another reason malware is so prolific on windows is because of the software tools that have been developed to exploit windows. Hackers churn out point & click software that any user could implement. We are starting to see the same thing now happen with Mac OS.

    And lastly, while people tend to defend their OS of choice, people rarely focus the anger towards those responsible. Why blast Windows, Apple, or a Linux Distro with harsh comments all the time, when you should blasting the foreign countries who do nothing to stop or prosecute the criminals. It’s my understanding that it’s not even a crime to steal from people in the U.S. in other parts of the world. (I’m looking at you Eastern Europe & South East Asia!)

  4. @CK
    the fact that OSX and Linux get less malware is NOT due to them having better security, but rather because they are just not targeted nearly as much as Windows is. I boils down to this; if Linux and OSX had the market share as Windows they would be a bigger target for this sort of thing. Think about it if you are a big malware maker what OS you going to make your software for, an OS that almost everyone else uses or one that only some people (geeks) use?

  5. Suedonames

    Uh, MacDefender and it’s other namesakes are Malware, NOT viruses. They have to be downloaded, opened, authenticated and installed by the user to create any threat to Mac users. Macs, like all platforms, can’t do much to protect themselves from user actions, such as downloading MacDefender, typing their password, and installing it. Viruses are automatic and autonomous, and it is these that plague PCs, but not Macs.
    People should be made aware that the DESIGN of how a user interacts with their computer (online), as well as the effectiveness of the programming of software that accesses the internet are very important. Apple does a great job of reducing risk-prone behaviour in it’s users through clever design. I’ve been a technical Mac user for 15 years and only went into the ‘Security’ settings for the second time ever tonight, for curiosity! If computer users -of all platforms- bothered to learn a little about the do’s and don’ts of internet/email usage and file-handling behaviour, then there wouldn’t be any need for anti-virus/malware rip-off programs. Keep learning people. The school of life is never ‘out’! Peace.

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