Apple Officially Responds to Mac-targeting Rogue MacDefender
Article by George Norman
On 25 May 2011
Earlier this month Intego uncovered that a rogue is making the rounds online and it’s targeting Mac users. The rogue in question hid under various names, like MacDefender, MacSecurity and MacProtector. Once installed on a machine, it would attempt to trick the user into thinking his machine is infected – just like rogues always do.

The MacDefender rogue spread to more and more users, causing call volumes at AppleCare to increase 4 to 5 times. Intego itself said that it was contacted by a “huge number of customers who are worried about this fake antivirus”. Intego customers had nothing to worry about since VirusBarrier X5 and VirusBarrier X6, as well as VirusBarrier Express and VirusBarrier Plus could protect against the MacDefender threat.

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That’s the story so far. The news is that Apple has officially responded to the MacDefender threat and posted an online support document that explains how to avoid the rogue and how to remove the rogue. In the same document Apple explains that in the near future it will release a security update that will do two things:

1. It will present the user with an explicit warning if he tries to download the MacDefender rogue or any of its variants.
2. The update will automatically find and it will automatically remove the MacDefender rogue and its variants from compromised machines.

I mentioned above that the rogue spread to more and more Macs. We don’t have any official numbers to present and better put things in perspective. But according to ZDNet’s Ed Bott, the numbers could be pretty high. “I’m told that the division that handles Mac support calls receives between 10,000 and 20,000 calls a day. If 25% of those calls are related to this issue, which has been going on for 25 days, the total number of customers affected could be between 60,000 and 125,000, and growing,” said Ed Bott.

Tags: Intego, Security, Fake AV, Rogue, MacDefender, Apple
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Apple Officially Responds to Mac-targeting Rogue MacDefender
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