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Old 25.05.2011, 18:03
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Warning Re: Mac Virus

Last night my teenage daughter was attempting to complete a school project on our Mac (OS X Version 10.6.7). She was Googling images for a slide presentation and after clicking on one, a screen opened up with the title "MacProtector," claiming the computer was infected with over 70 viruses and was at great risk (complete with siren-like sound bytes and a flashing red shield with a slash across it). Of course, at first glance it appeared to be legit, and it offered to scan the computer. Alas, she clicked "scan," thinking it was part of the Mac's operating system and unleashed a malware/phishing virus. The scan, of course, indicated dire results and offered a cleaning program to fix the Mac (for an additional fee, of course, to be paid by credit card).

At this point she showed me what was going on, so we did not fall for the "purchase" scam and give credit card info. However, just clicking on the initially-offered "scan for viruses" then resulted in ads for Viagra and gay porn (accompanied by filthy pictures ) randomly opening up on the screen. After doing research online, I came across instructions to remove the malware at this site: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650

I performed the indicated steps and was able to remove the virus, and I additionally installed ClamXav, a free virus checker for Macs which I obtained here: http://www.clamxav.com/

Note that the virus can be called Mac Security, Mac Defender, or Mac Protector. Apple is saying it will issue a software update in coming days in response to these malware attacks. Be sure especially to tell your kids, who might be used to using a Mac without having to deal with many security issues and might be prone, like my daughter, to clicking the "scan" button without consulting an adult!

See also: http://content.usatoday.com/communit...ware-attacks/1 for more information.

Last edited by Textoch; 25.05.2011 at 18:19. Reason: Added link
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Old 25.05.2011, 19:16
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

Nice of apple to finally come clean on this one. According to an interview with an apple tech support guy I read about a week ago they were instructed to neither confirm nor deny the existence of this piece of scareware and moreover they were instructed not to help with it's removal. However, from what I gather most of the techies sensibly ignored this jobsian directive.

Fortunately the removal of this is trivial and requires no more knowledge than an average mac user would have.

Basically if you end up with an unexpected install window that asks for the admin password then don't enter it unless you really know what you are doing, and you have enough expertise to get yourself out of any potential mess that may occur. Should you however manage to install this beastie by accident do not enter your credit card number as obviously this will not get rid of the problem. All this malware will do is tell you that the card number is not valid and ask you to try another card. In effect what it's trying to do is harvest all of your card numbers.

By the way it's not a virus, it's a trojan at best, but doesn't actually carry a harmful payload in the sense that it will damage data, or steal such things as passwords. But it does have an effect on the system such as popping up pornographic images to convince you to pay up.
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Old 25.05.2011, 19:27
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

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. But it does have an effect on the system such as popping up pornographic images to convince you to pay up.
Don't you normally have to pay up to start pornographic images popping up...
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Old 25.05.2011, 20:00
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

I had the same last week, googled it and was directed by Apple support to this:
http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...antivirus.html
I downloaded it on the free trial, it found the nasty, but the trial version won't delete it, so you do that manually.
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Old 25.05.2011, 22:05
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

I got this at the weekend and it was as annoying as they said! For some reason I did not connect the porn images with MacProtector so was even more delighted when they also disappeared! I tried to buy the protection but it failed - lucky for me because I found a way to delete it - and it was easy! You just type in MacProtector into a search engine (Google for me) and you get the instructions on how to delete it. It cannot be deleted normally as it is permanently open and you cannot shut it. Unfortunately I am so a basic user that I cannot repeat the steps here but that only goes to show how easy it was to rid the computer of the virus with the instructions given!
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Old 27.05.2011, 08:47
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

This trojan, now known as "Mac Guard", has evolved and no longer needs a password to install itself. It works on the assumption that the vast majority of users run a single account on their Macs, and by default that single account has to be an administrator account. Unfortunately that assumption will be correct in 90% of cases.

It still requires some user interaction to install - you have to click on continue in the installer for it to install.

Best defense at the moment is to turn off "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari's general preferences. This won't stop the malware downloading, but it will stop it automatically running the install program.

I knew the day would unfortunately come where I would need to say running some form of mac antivirus is a good idea. This is now. Sophos do a free home edition of their antivirus for Mac. I'd suggest going here and grabbing a copy while it's still free. I've been testing it on my work machine and it seems stable, but I can't comment on it's effectiveness.
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Old 27.05.2011, 09:11
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

This us a re-run of a similar windows virus from a while ago. Yep where there's users of a os there's money to be made
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Old 27.05.2011, 09:25
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

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This us a re-run of a similar windows virus from a while ago. Yep where there's users of a os there's money to be made
Windows Anti-Virus Plus trojan - very pro, with convincing M$ windows and logos.

On a couple of occasions in the recent past, I've had a couple of fake trojan alerts, when using Google Images - much like the Mac scenario here. I think these are becoming the new targeted method of intrusion, as, for me, my siteadvisor doesn't give references for images search results.
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Old 27.05.2011, 09:32
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

I am absolutely clueless on virus/trojan horse type of stuff but hopefully have the good sense to not open anything that looks dodgy (even if it's at the sacrifice of something bona fide).

Is it worth me taking my MacBook down to the Apple shop and asking them to load it up with whatever it takes to protect it?

Or would I be better just handing over my credit card with the invitation to "Go wild!" with it..?

I've tried trawling through virus sites to inform myself but the writers of these things seem to assume that all readers are au fait with the subject when really it's like reading a foreign language.

I'd had my MacBook for 3 months when I finally worked out that "OS" meant operating system. This is what you are dealing with.
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Old 27.05.2011, 10:13
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

I'm shocked by a couple of responses which seem to say that you got attacked, and then, during the cleanup, you installed AV.

Why didn't you have Anti-Virus (Anti-Malware) running already? Computer basics - regardless of Operating System or hardware - Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever...

1. Install decent Anti-malware software
2. Have a firewall running at all times
3. Install Operating System (and application) security updates as they become available.
4. Only install anything from trusted sources.

Did I miss any?
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Old 27.05.2011, 10:28
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

because most mac users blindly believe that macs cannot get virus, mallware, trojans etc etc after all thats what the fanboys and press tell them.

Its only pc's that have the issue don't you know.
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Old 27.05.2011, 10:40
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

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I'm shocked by a couple of responses which seem to say that you got attacked, and then, during the cleanup, you installed AV.

Why didn't you have Anti-Virus (Anti-Malware) running already? Computer basics - regardless of Operating System or hardware - Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever...

1. Install decent Anti-malware software
2. Have a firewall running at all times
3. Install Operating System (and application) security updates as they become available.
4. Only install anything from trusted sources.

Did I miss any?
Nothing is 100% foolproof though - some "crapware" (generic term) can still find a way in, through the most stringent security measures.
It happens often enough with big corporations who must spend a fortune preventing this, sometimes to no avail - so it is not surprising that there are frequent infections of PC's of private home users.
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Old 27.05.2011, 12:24
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

The point is not a virus somehow getting through all the security, it's not having the basic security - like AV software - in the first place.

At some time in your life, you'll get food poisoning. But that's no reason to not wash your hands frequently.
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Old 27.05.2011, 13:39
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

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Is it worth me taking my MacBook down to the Apple shop and asking them to load it up with whatever it takes to protect it?
Have you got a time machine backup?
Time machine should offer to start when you connect any blank external Hard drive. Offline backup is a good idea. The anti-virus software could be defective, as well as simply useless. There is no anti-virus solution with a track record for the Mac yet. There hasn't been a proper virus that spreads its self yet.
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Old 27.05.2011, 14:05
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Re: Warning Re: Mac Virus

Quote:
I am absolutely clueless on virus/trojan horse type of stuff but hopefully have the good sense to not open anything that looks dodgy (even if it's at the sacrifice of something bona fide).

Is it worth me taking my MacBook down to the Apple shop and asking them to load it up with whatever it takes to protect it?

Or would I be better just handing over my credit card with the invitation to "Go wild!" with it..?

I've tried trawling through virus sites to inform myself but the writers of these things seem to assume that all readers are au fait with the subject when really it's like reading a foreign language.

I'd had my MacBook for 3 months when I finally worked out that "OS" meant operating system. This is what you are dealing with.
Just give me the macbook and the credit card, I'll take care of it for you.
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