Apple Eventually Admits MacDefender Infections, Pledges Cleansing Tool

Apple has eventually acknowledged the existence of MacDefender, a scareware as well as other phony anti-virus samples, which have been circulating online lately.

Posting an advisory to Apple's support website the company stated that of late one phishing scam had attacked owners of Mac via diverting them from authentic Internet sites to ones which were phony that told them that virus had infected their PCs. Subsequently, the users were presented with the MacDefender anti-virus program for cleansing their systems, the advisory elaborated. Latimes.com reported this on May 25, 2011.

However, according to Apple, MacDefender rather than being an anti-virus application is really malicious software, designed to steal end-users' credit card details for future exploitation to conduct fraudulent activities. Incidentally, other names of MacDefender are MacSecurity and MacProtector.

Declaring that it would shortly launch software update for Mac OS X, Apple stated that the update would automatically detect and eliminate MacDefender along with other variants of the malware. Additionally, it'd assist in safeguarding end-users through the provision of a definite alert incase they took down MacDefender.

This public acknowledgment about the presence of malicious software for Max OS X is something Apple never did before.

Initially Apple had kept quiet over MacDefender even after Ed Bott a security specialist posted an oral interaction with a representative of AppleCare along with an internal memorandum's copy wherein Apple directed its staff against admitting MacDefender alternatively offering any help for eliminating the scareware.

Said Senior Security Advisor Chester Wisniewski from Sophos a security company, Apple, via its advertisements and marketing, made users falsely believe that they were secure from online threats. However, given that some users were presently affected, Apple would do well to guide its consumers towards the right path as the least act on its part, Wisniewski added. Eweek.com published this on May 25, 2011.

Wisniewski further added that in the background of fake anti-virus being a long-standing issue for Windows PCs, irrespective of the OS, all users required being security conscious so far as scareware was concerned. For, if people become relaxed about their systems' protection, they'd become easy targets for cyber-criminals, he concluded.

Related article: Apple Patches QuickTime 13 Month Old Flaw

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