Malware MacDefender evolves into MacGuard; makes Apples prevention plan ineffective

Just when a Mac user thought it was safe to go out again, comes more bad news! MacDefender has evolved into a more dangerous variant called MacGuard – all within a day of Apple announcing its prevention plan.

MacGuard now, unlike its earlier avatar MacDefender, does not require a password for installation and makes parts of the current Mac Defender prevention plan from Apple obsolete and ineffective.

The new variant comes in two parts. The first part is a downloader  tool that, after installation, downloads a payload from a web server. The second part of the malware is a new version of the MacDefender application called MacGuard, reports Intego. a company which specializes in providing security software for the Apple Mac computer. Seeing a potentially growing market for Mac security products, it also provides a paid antivirus software for Mac computers, unlike Sophos, which provides a free antivirus software for Mac.

Unlike the previous avatar, this evolved rogue does not require an  administrator’s password. Since any user with an administrator’s account – the default if there is just one user on a Mac – can install software in the Applications folder, a password is not needed.

To-date a typical Mac user was safe in his/her belief that he was always safe, but now that belief could come crumbling down, any time soon.

The never-ending anti-malware war seems to be just beginning for Apple, and this is bound to create marketing head-aches for Apple, who did all it could do to shout out from roof-tops that a Mac computer was secure, unlike a Windows computer.

I am sure this all must be rather embarassing for Apple, but it has to realize that this is the price it will have to pay for an increasing market share.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, 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.

One Comment

  1. roger

    You know, I read this and I get just the slightest touch of schadenfreude for all those Mac-users who have so pointedly posted, often on sites with ‘Windows’ in their name, “you should get a Mac, we don’t get viruses”. Unfortunately, it’s almost certain to increase the numbers of Linux users pointing and laughing at the rest of us.

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