Friday, 20 May 2011

Fake "Anti-Virus" programmes now targeting Apple Macs

Most of the viruses that we see these days masquerade as anti-virus programmes. Users report getting lots of pop-up messages that they can't get rid of, which are warning them that their computer has been infected with lots of different viruses.

The user is asked to click a link to download software which will clean their PC. Before doing so they must pay, of course. The price is usually around £40 - low enough to make many unwary users take the risk.

Of course, the whole thing is a scam. You never do get any software and you slowly realise that you've given out all of your credit card details, so it costs you much more than £40!

These viruses have been around for quite some time for Windows users. What is news is that they are now appearing on Apple Macs, with names such as MacProtector, MacSecurity and Mac Defender - see this article at by Rich Trenholm, for details.

Apple Mac users have long believed they are immune from viruses (and many Mac users are way too smug about this). Sadly, while Macs are much less likely to contract a virus they are certainly not invulnerable. It is simply the case that there are many fewer viruses targeting Macs as opposed to PCs.

This could be changing with the recent advent of these new viruses. And strangely enough, because it is more challenging to write a virus to attack a Mac, we may see nastier examples! The money making viruses are relatively easy to create, but no fun. The 16 year old spotty youth isn't looking to make money, he's looking to prove himself. And what better way than to attack the Mac Brigade?

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© Michael Donkin 2011