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Mac Trojans, or, Boy do I have Great Timing!!!

 
 
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:05 am
A few months ago, I bought an iMac, which I love. One of the things that sold me on the Mac was that the people at Apple raved that Mac users did not need virus scanners, firewalls, spyware removers, etc.

Anyhow, apparently many other people have recently bought Macs, and now that there are enough Mac owners, the hackers have decided that it is worth their while to create some mischief.

Yesterday, I received a popup on my computer stated that my machine was, "infected". There was also this nasty red shield on the top of the screen. All of a sudden I was getting full page porn ads, and many nagging notices that my computer was infected, etc. They offered to sell me a virus scan.

I downloaded the virus scanner, but before I bought it, checked. Now here is one case where paranoia IS adaptive, and downright necessary. When I
checked, I discovered that there is a nasty Trojan that has been infecting the Macs. Apparently, Apple had been so smug about their products being inviolate, that they never paid much attention to security.

Now they will, and a fix is promised...........soon. In the meantime, Mac sent out an article explaining how to remove the Trojan manually. I followed their instructions, and the Trojan is apparently gone.

For those of you who get caught up in this scheme, here is the article that described how to remove the infection:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,087 • Replies: 16
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tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:15 am
@Phoenix32890,
I wish you would have asked this question BEFORE you downloaded their alleged antivirus software.

That's an all too common ploy these days. I wonder if you can get those alleged Genius members at Apple canned for claiming you don't need anti-virus software? Mad

I'll bite my tongue on the Mac purchase for now for nongloating's sake.
(((grumble grumble Mac's bite grumble grumble)))
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:15 am
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/154071/20110529/apple-takes-on-mac-defender-scam.htm
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:44 am
@tsarstepan,
I have been doing a little research, but have not come up with a well regarded virus scan for Macs. Do you know of any?
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 09:02 am
@Phoenix32890,
When I first had a mac, years ago, I sprung for some virus scanner, one of the usual names (I forget) but for financial reasons I dropped it.
Meantime, mac security updates happen fairly often, and they seem to work over all.

I did see the mac defender window, and quit it (clicking on the red dot to get it off my screen). Nothing further happened.

Later, I saw this article
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=124974
so I went to my Utilities and found no odd apps or any different ones than usual.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 09:13 am
@Phoenix32890,
I use Avast on Windows machines and it's free for personal use.

It appears it is available for the Mac. Not sure if it is free.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/networking_security/avastantivirusmacedition.html
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 09:45 am
@Phoenix32890,
I had to do a little research on the subject.

I trust CNET reviews so here is seemingly their best idea for an antivirus program:
http://download.cnet.com/iAntiVirus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10854561.html?tag=dropDownForm;productListing

And it's free to boot: iAntiVirus Free Edition for Mac, 4 out of 5 stars.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:24 am
@tsarstepan,
iAntiVirus Free Edition for Mac looks pretty good. I too have been doing some research this morning, (wonder why Wink ) and found that it is well regarded.

I have two concerns. One is that right now, my Mac moves like lightning, and I am concerned that a virus scan (which may or may not be needed, according to the Mac aficionados)will slow it down.

The other thing, is that I understand that the OS Lion will be coming out in the summer, and will address some security issues.

I may put the program on, and see what happens. I also have read good things about onyX, which is an all around Mac "tweaker". Anybody have experience with that program?
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:38 am
@Phoenix32890,
Well, it wasn't a virus per se, it's an application you downloaded and was
infested. So unless the user downloads the "virus scanner" nothing will happen.
I've used a MAC for 20 years and never had a virus, Apple's built in virus
scanner is pretty reliable and shields you from an outside virus. However,
if you download software that is not a legitimate source, all bets are off.
Usually the OS will ask you if you're sure to download a certain file and the
system does have safety features prior to downloading the file, but if you
do it anyway, it certainly can happen.

In this case however, I think they wanted to have your credit card information as it was a phishing scam.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:40 am
From osso's link:

Quote:
Apple has posted a support document explaining how to "avoid or remove" Mac Defender and stated it would release an update to Mac OS X to automatically find and remove the malware.

The new support document describes the malware as a phishing scam that redirects users from legitimate websites to "fake websites which tell them that their computer is infected with a virus."

The websites then offer phony antivirus software to solve the problem, under the names Mac Defender, Mac Protector and Mac Security, often with MAC spelled in all caps.

Apple's removal steps detail quitting the offending app and deleting it from the Utilities folder it is installed into by default. The primary damage caused by the malware is to nag the user for their credit card information in an attempt to sell them a solution to a nonexistent problem.

Windows PC pundits, notably Ed Bott of ZDNet, have made highly publicized reports of the Mac Defender malware, suggesting it is evidence that Macs are now experiencing malware and virus problems comparable to those experienced by Windows users over the past two decades.

Security expert Charlie Miller, who has regularly won security contests demonstrating Mac exploits, has downplayed that real threat of the few Mac malware titles that have surfaced, recently noting in an interview that "Microsoft recently pointed out that 1 in 14 downloads on Windows are malicious. And the fact that there is just one piece of Mac malware being widely discussed illustrates how rare malware still is on the Mac platform."

Miller explained that while antivirus software can help protect your system from being infected, he also countered that "it's expensive, uses system memory and reduces battery life," stating, "At some point soon, the scales will tip to installing antivirus, but at this point, I don't think it's worth it yet for most people."

Apple recommends that Mac users "should exercise caution any time they are asked to enter sensitive personal information online" and notes that it "provides security updates for the Mac exclusively through Software Update and the Apple Support Downloads site."

The Mac Defender scam presents a phony website scanner with an appearance modeled after iTunes, and depicts itself as being an "Apple security center," apparently modeled after the "Windows Security Center" Microsoft added to its own product.

Because the phony web page and its popups are tied to the browser, they do not look native alerts from Mac OS X. The scam site is also unable to install the malware without the user supplying an administrative password. Even so, hundreds of users have been duped by the scam, although the outbreak appears to be more of a nagware annoyance than a serious security problem.
AppleInsider is offline Reply With Quote
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:43 am
@ossobuco,
Might as well post the solution on this thread too.

Quote:
This from MacWorld.com....see if you have it.

"...Launching Activity Monitor in your Applications folder, choose All Processes from the drop-down menu. Look for the name of the app in the Process Name column—in addition to Mac Defender, the malware also goes by MacSecurity and MacProtector—and click to select it. Click the Quit Process button in the top left of Activity Monitor, and select Quit from the resulting menu. Then you can quit Activity Monitor, go to your Applications folder, find the offending Mac Defender app, and drag it to the trash."

Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:47 am
@CalamityJane,
Jane- I think that what threw me, was that it was such a pleasure not having to worry about the stuff that had threatened my p.c. From what I have been reading, Mac is not (yet) susceptible to viruses because of the nature of the operating system.

I think that I was just startled by the "scareware", as they call it, and for a moment, fell for it. I am glad that I pulled myself together BEFORE I ordered the bogus program. As far as I am concerned, it was a good lesson for me.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:51 am
@JPB,
JPB- Did all that, and I think that the intruder is gone..........for good, I hope. I copied the article about removing the malware, and will keep it for future reference.

As a former p.c. user, I am not completely familiar wit the ins and outs of the Mac OS, and the article taught me a lot.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:57 am
@JPB,
Hey, thanks!
I checked my Activity Monitor (never looked at that before, found it under Utilities) and all processes . No Malware, my lady.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:59 am
@Phoenix32890,
It might have been worse on a Windows machine. When it happened to me, I had to do a manual shut down and restart in safe mode. Sounds like you had an easier time getting rid of it.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 11:00 am
@Phoenix32890,
Yeah I get it, Phoenix, you're still traumatized for being a PC user for such
a long time Laughing Just relax and let Apple take care of the rest!
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 11:10 am
@CalamityJane,
Jane- Exactly- I have been so used to "big deal" fixes, that it amazed me that fixing the problem was so quick and easy.

Irish K- The simplicity was one of the main reasons that I switched to Mac.
0 Replies
 
 

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