I told you Macs weren’t safe!
Does anyone listen to me? No. Well, hardly ever.
I’m sure you’ve seen the news by now that there are growing numbers of Mac malware attacks. In fact, Apple Care, the official Apple customer service division, has reported a staggering jump in the number of malware related calls they received in just the past several weeks. Apparently, according to the interview, it’s gotten to be quite a large problem in just that short amount of time. They estimate that, now, up to 50% of all calls they get are related in some way to a malware attack on an Apple product. The indication from the article is that everything is focused on Mac OS X machines, but, with larger market share comes a bigger prize for hackers, so don’t be surprised if iPhones and iPads and even iPods are attacked next!
Of course, what makes matters worse is that, allegedly, Apple Care representatives are being told not to help with malware attacks! So, all that safety you thought you were buying with Mac? Apparently, not the best investment. Of course, security through obscurity never is.
So far, the threat seems to be confined to a single, aggressive bit of malware called MacDefender. Go to the link and you’ll see a screenshot of what it looks like when it tries to install. It looks just like a standard Mac program, right from Apple. This is the same tactic that Windows users have been facing for years. There’s nothing new here, outside of a new installed base of users who have never had to deal with malware before. Mac users must look like sheep ready for fleecing to these crooks. So, if you know Mac users, warn them and spread the word.
For those of you lucky enough to have escaped harm so far, buy and install an antivirus product and keep it up to date.
For those of you who haven’t been lucky, here’s a link to a MacDefender Malware Removal Guide. (Thanks, @joefarace!)
Incidentally, I’ve been talking about this for years. I knew it would happen eventually, but, hey, who am I? I mean, besides a front-line grunt that cleans up everyone’s machine when they get infected with digital herpes. Not being a “pundit” or “respected industry figure” just means that no one takes you seriously, not that we don’t know what we’re talking about. Because, believe me, I’m not the only network geek in the trenches who saw this coming. We ALL did, but no one listens.
Like I wrote earlier, get the word out and show Mac users what they might expect before they get hit.
The day you save may be your own!