Mac OS X computers were being targeted by a SEO poisoning attack on Google Image Search resulting in users being prompted to install malware called MACDefender. While people in the Windows world are unfortunately very familiar with the scareware/malware that popped up (not that this prevents them from infecting themselves though), this attack is somewhat new for Mac users.
Apple has recently been taking some heat for instructing its AppleCare support agents to not assist the customer if their computer has been infected by this Mac Defender malware which may also go by MacSecurity or MacProtector.
Yesterday, Apple published a knowledge base article that addresses How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware for Mac OS X 104 – 10.6. It covers what processes to look for and to force quit, where to find the applications to delete, and how to remove the login item. It also covers how to avoid getting infected in the first place.
From the top of the KB article, it informs users that an update will be coming soon that will remove this malware.
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.
When a computer is infected, it would prompt the user to buy a 1-year, 2-year, of lifetime subscription over the Internet. Not only would this give them $60-$80 but it would also give people malicious enough to infect your computer, your credit card information. Do not pay and do not give your credit card details out to scareware.
Basic Mac tips state to run an antivirus application to protect your computer from harmful applications. Macs need antivirus installed! Try the free-for-home-users Sophos anti-virus to protect your computer and prevent infections of scareware like Mac Defender. If you’ve already been infected, follow the steps Apple provides for clean-up and then get a legitimate anti-virus installed.