Protect Your Mac from Malware


Remember all the insurance advertisements that always run that famous punchline ‘Insurance is a subject matter of solicitation, please read the document carefully before investing’. Wondering what it has got to do with Mac computers? Replace insurance with security in Macs and you will come to know why I said so. Yes, Mac computers by the virtue of being excellent piece of engineering require no or lesser security than Windows-based computers. Therefore, security remains a subject matter of solicitation for Macs and not a must-have thing.

This might have been true until recently when MacDefender, the fake antivirus program aka Mac malware, broke out in Mac machines. This must have astonished the proud Mac owners who have always thought that their machine is immune to all  kinds of virus, spyware, and malware among other infections that typically target Windows computers. Though there might have been a very few instances of MacDefender’s attacks on Mac computers, it shows that these are as vulnerable to infections as the Windows computers. Now, security is a must-have thing for Mac computers also. Gone were the days when Macs used to be considered the safest computers than other OS based computers. Practice safe computing as your Mac’s security is in your hands. Kindly leave your comments to help us improve your experience.

Update Your Mac Forcibly For Malware Definitions


Is your Mac safe from malware infection? Probably yes because you never download malicious content or junk from internet or use any infected disk on your Mac. Probably not because you are a regular surfer and frequently download free songs, iTunes, and videos etc. Whichever the case may be, your Mac is not secured especially after the outbreak of MacDefender, the fake anti-virus program aka Mac malware. It is currently in its latest version known as MacShield that when installed on your machine sneak into your confidential information and pass it on to its client, the malware developer. MacShield hijacks your web browser, redirects you to fake/adult websites, or corrupt the search results for images in Google Image search engine.

The malware may also modify your Mac’s registry settings and flood your system with streams of phony warnings and scanning tools that report existence of malicious items and activities. Thinking how to avoid being a victim of such a nasty and dangerous malware? It can be done easily by updating your Mac with latest security definitions. Despite that fact that MacShield bypassed the latest Security Update from Apple just after the few hours of its release, it is necessary to update your Mac. To do so, you need to go System Preference> go to System Preferences pane, now put a check mark in the box next to Automatically update safe downloads list. Click on Ok or Yes or whatever you see on the screen to apply the changes and close the window. Your Mac is now ready to install automatic updates whenever they are available.

 

Protect Your Mac From Malware


Until Apple comes out with a new, appropriate solution to deal with MacDefender, the Mac malware, and its variants, Mac users are strongly advised to keep their machines protected using an antivirus program. Though, Mac malware has not been very successful in spreading itself to infect more and more machines, that dark day doesn’t appear to be far away when it will show its true colors. The earlier version of MacDefender required users to enter the administrator password in order to let the malware installer to be downloaded and run on the machine. However, the newer variants don’t require the admin password to be entered and run on their own, depending on the settings in your browser viz. Safari.

Mac users can follow these below mentioned steps to protect themselves from being a victim to Mac malware:

Run Mac Updates - Yes, run Mac updates in order to let the patches and fixes to be downloaded and installed on your Mac machine. There are many users who don’t run these updates for whatever reason. Believe me if you skip updates, you are making your PC vulnerable to infections and attacks. Apple regularly rolls out latest patches and bug fixes for your Mac PC.

Install Anti-virus program - While Macs are little safer than other computers, it is still good to install an antivirus program on your machine so as to protect it from seen or unseen infections. You can choose from a variety of options including Sophos, Norton, and Avast among others.

Practice Safe Computing – Do not open random links sent in emails or pop-ups that come up while browsing the internet. Practice safe computing to save yourself from trouble.

Turn off Safe file opening feature in Safari - Safari, by default, automatically opens some files after these are downloaded on your machine. It prompts a malicious file to be executed automatically. Disable this feature by going in to the ‘Menu Bar, go to “Safari’, click on ‘Preferences and General’, and remove the check mark from the box saying ‘Open safe files after downloading’. This will allow you to have more control over any file that may be malicious and infect your machine. Stay Safe, Stay Protected!

 

Apple Rolls Out Fourth Update


The cat-and-mouse game has begun. Apple in its pursuit of nabbing the bad Mac malware rolled out fourth new security update to XProtect, its list of malware definitions on 3rd June around 5:00 AM PDT. The latest update is intended to cover all the 5 known variants viz. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector, MacGuard, MacShield (the latest variant recognized as OSX.MacDefender.E.) of Mac Defender, the fake Mac anti-virus program.

See the image of new Mac malware variant. aka. MacShield

MacDefender Bypasses Apple’s Latest Security Update


 MacDefender is getting worse day by day and is becoming a pain in the neck of Apple. MacDefender and its variants bypassed the latest security update (just after a few hours of its release) thrusted out by Apple on 31st may 2011. The Security Update 2011-003 was designed to detect and sweep MacDefender, the fake Mac antivirus program, and its variants viz. MacSecurity, MacGuard, and MacProtector.

The latest Mac malware variant comes hidden in mdinstall.pkg, an installer package that also contains data and time of Tuesday night at 9.24PM. See the image:

This package installs MacGuard very quickly, the latest malware version, and infects the targeted machine without even requiring the admin password. The malware developers have been playing a goose-chase game with Apple, making Mac computers again test positive for the Mac malware.

Apple has reacted quickly by updating XProtect in order to scan and detect the behavior of the existing downloader. The Security Update 2011-003 contained modifications to the File Quarantine feature in the Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard antivirus program. MacDefender was first noticed in early May by an antivirus company.

Apple Releases Security Update for MacDefender


keeping the promise, Apple rolled out Security Update 2011-003 for Mac OS X just 48 hours ago. The update, known as the MacDefender removal tool, will detect and eliminate MacDefender, the fake antivirus malware, and its variants from Mac machines. Apple integrated the OSX.MacDefender.A definition into the list of quarantine items in Security Update 2011-003, which was released on 31st May 2011 for Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.

When installed, the security update will scan for the MacDefender and its known variants viz. MacGuard, MacSecurity and remove them. “If a known variant was detected and removed, the user will be notified via an alert after the update is installed”, said by Apple in its report. Previously, Apple had only added 5 detection definitions in its Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard. MacDefender, the Mac malware, made its appearance on Mac machines in early May. The malware masquerades itself as a legitimate antivirus program and runs fake warnings that tell a customer that his/her PC is infected and he/she needs to download the antivirus program to remove them. When customer clicks to download the malware, it redirects him/her to adult or pornographic Web pages so as to steal his confidential, financial information.

Read on more to know what Apple has done, how successful its new security update was, and what Mac users can do to prevent themselves from being the victim of frauds.

Mac Malware Tightens Grip on Mac Users


“Mac Mac not again, malware wants to run again”. I am sure this is how Mac users have been praying since the eruption of Mac malware. It has so far affected around or over 60,000 Mac owners (reported by Ed Bott on http://www.zdnet.com/), and is still continuing the dirty game of infection.

Mac malware has begun to tighten the noose around Mac users’ neck by spreading itself leaps and bounds on Mac machines. Remember the first and foremost infamous message that appeared on Mac screens I am a Trojan Horse, so i have infected your Mac Computer. I know, most people think Macs can’t be Infected, but look, you ARE infected! I have full controll over your Computer and i can do everything I want, and you can do nothing to prevent it. So, Im a very new Virus, under Development, so there will be much more functions when im finished.

It wasn’t a hoax as some Mac owners/users for that matter have experienced it and had to reboot their computer in order to get rid of this message. The latest Mac malware version, also called as MacDefender, is much worse than the initial one. MacDefender redirects the users to fake and adult websites instead of the legitimate websites. These fake websites make users believe that their PCs are infected and they need to download and install a security program (which is actually a virus infection itself) from them in order to remove the virus/malware and save critical data.

Intego, a security firm, says ‘the program is very well designed, and looks professional’. The firm in its blog tells ‘will occasionally report that your machine is infected and will also redirect you to porn sites which is most likely to make users think that they are infected by a virus, and that paying for MacDefender will fix the problem’.

Apple has maintained a long silence on the eruption of Mac malware, fearing that it would tarnish image of the much sophisticated brand Apple. The company in the latest and previous reports has told its tech support reps not to help Mac users with Mac malware removal. The reason is that Apple will soon roll out a security patch to Mac OS X. The patch will scan and eliminate MacDefender as well as its other variants.

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