Last week we saw what was a very rare malware attack specifically aimed at Mac OS and Apple has now addressed the issue and will release a software update to remove the offending software.
A fake antivirus program called variously MacDefender, MacSecurity and MacProtector, was discovered last week, which targets Mac users via SEO poisoning attacks. Having downloaded the ‘antivirus’ software users were then told their computers were infected and prompted to upgrade to ensure the viruses were removed. Various estimates suggest that between 65,000 and 120,000 Mac users were affected by this malware. Initially Apple was seen to be denying the presence of the malware with reports suggesting that AppleCare support agents being told not to help customers who called reporting the problem. Now however Apple has spoken and said that it is taking steps to deal with the problem:
Apple has also put up directions on how to avoid the installing the malware and how to remove it, if it is already installed. Malware attacks targeting Macs are a rarity but with Apple’s PCs the only one to show growth in the first quarter of 2011, their growing popularity could mean we see a lot more of this malicious software in the future.