Need proof that Mac is catching up to Windows in a big way? Security firm Intego reports that it has recently observed in the wild a malicious, fake ‘antivirus’ app appearing on computers running Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Windows, of course, has been host to such programs for about as long as the Internet has existed. Apple’s fake, malicious antivirus program has a much slicker interface, though.
Called “MAC Defender,” the app functions similarly to comparable PC scam programs: It claims that the user’s computer has been infected with viruses and asks the user to pay for the program via credit card. Protip: Don’t provide your credit card number to MAC Defender.
Intego notes that the application is visually well designed and doesn’t have numerous misspellings or other errors common to such malware on Windows, though it does seem to contain some sketchy grammar. The software will periodically display Growl alerts that various fake malware has been detected, and also periodically opens porn websites in the default browser, perhaps leading a user to believe the detected malware “threats” are real. Users are then directed to an insecure website to pay for a license and “clean” the malware infections. However, buying the license merely stops the fake alerts from popping up, but your money and credit card info is now in the hands of hackers.
Remember: The notion that Macs can’t get viruses or malware is a myth.
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