Monday, March 19, 2012

Even Apple had to admit it: Mac Defender is real malware for the Mac.

Originally published 05/25/2011 at


Mac now has real malware. First announced May 2nd by Intego, it's similar to numerous fake anti-virus and anti-malware programs on the Windows side. As far as danger, it's a standard scam to get your credit card number and other identifying information. Unlike some other trojan software it doesn't do anything to your computer or the data on it.


Apple spent 3 weeks seemingly ignoring the problem, but on Monday they added a knowledgebase article on avoiding or removing the malware. They are also preparing an OS update that will explicitly warn if a user downloads Mac Defender or one of it's variants. They haven't said what versions of Mac OS will be getting the update, but hopefully they will cover all the affected OS's, not just OS X 10.5 and 10.6.

Warning a user that they're downloading malware is all well and good, but as time goes on and the list of malware grows that could become pretty unwieldy. Hopefully now that there is a piece of malware for OS X that is real, widespread, and effective at what it does Apple will pay more attention to the reality that, like all other software, OS X is not bulletproof and needs serious attention paid to security.