Apple has finally admitted the danger of Mac Defender – the first major malware to target Mac computers – that created panic among Apple customers, and promised to tackle the issue.
Mac Defender is a malicious malware that seemed to have appeared several weeks ago, infecting Mac computers and stealing credit card information from its victims while pretending to be an anti-virus software. If the malware gets into the user’s computer, it will open a pop-up page in the Internet browser, giving fake warning messages that the device is under serious threat from viruses. If the users follow the instructions given by Mac Defender, they will end up handing over their credit card information into the hands of the hackers.
The appearance of the malware busted Mac’s virus-proof myth and created panic among Apple’s customers. According to ZDNet, Mac Defender might have infected somewhere around 60,000 and 120,000 Mac users.
Until recently, Apple had drawn large criticisms for being quiet about the issue and did not give any support on treatment of the infection nor prevention from getting it. According to an interview Ed Bott of ZDNet held with a personnel at AppleCare last week, AppleCare was told not to remove the malware.
“Our notice for Mac Defender is that we’re not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer… The reason for the rule, they say, is even though Mac Defender is easy to remove, we can’t set the expectation to customers that we will be able to remove all malware in the future. That’s what antivirus is for,” said the AppleCare representative.
However, with growing voices of concerns, Apple has admitted the threat publicly and promised to take action.
In an article titled “How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware” posted Tuesday on Apple’s Support page, Apple has acknowledged the attack of Mac Defender and promised to give a software update that will “automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants”. Meanwhile, Apple also has posted step-by-step instructions on how to avoid installing and how to remove the malware from the computer (click here).
Apple users are starting to be alarmed to take care of their computer security, now that Macs are no longer out of malicious hackers' reach.
“What this shows is that nobody is safe,” said Andrew Storms, director of security operations with nCircle Security. “In the end, it all depends on the user to understand what's malware and what's not.”