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  • Safari Browser is the Portal for New Malware Attacks on Mac OS X Users


    A significant new security threat has been detected and its putting Mac users on high alert today. Mac antivirus and security developer Intego has "discovered a rogue anti-malware program" dubbed MACDefender. According to a report from the agency, MACDefender attacks Macs via "SEO poisoning" assaults. (NOTE: The malware described here is in NO WAY affiliated with MacDefender, makers of popular geocaching software).

    When a user clicks on a link after performing a search on a search engine such as Google, this takes them to a web site whose page contains JavaScript that automatically downloads a file. In this case, the file downloaded is a compressed ZIP archive, which, if a specific option in a web browser is checked (Open “safe” files after downloading in Safari, for example), will open.
    Once the file is decompressed and the installer launches, users see what appears to be a friendly screen (see above image) prompting MACDefender setup (it should noted that because the software deceptively requires user agreement, the accompanying threat level warning for MACDefender surfaces as "low"). However, if the installation process is followed - a process that requires the entry of an administrator’s password - the software will call your computer its new home. And this is one digital house-guest you don't want.

    This latest security threat represents yet another example of how malware sites are capitalizing on Safari's "Open Safe Files" feature. Nonetheless, if you have installed the MACDefender software, there's a good chance you'll be able to uninstall the unwanted "house guest" in just a few steps - the first of which is searching for and deleting any and all references to "MACDefender" on your system.

    According to CNET:

    Currently antivirus definitions for Intego's VirusBarrier X6 software are being updated to address this threat, and it is likely other legitimate antivirus software companies are doing the same for their programs. Therefore, if you run VirusBarrier or other antivirus utilities then be sure to check for an update soon, and run a full scan on your system to remove the MACDefender malware.
    Source: Intego, CNET
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Safari Browser is the Portal for New Malware Attacks on Mac OS X Users started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 61 Comments
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      So the latest Mac virus still requires you to manually install it
    1. imilad's Avatar
      imilad -
      I thought macs never get viruses
    1. nmejunkie's Avatar
      nmejunkie -
      I wanna say I told u so.
      If you think your browser should decompress and open files it thinks are safe... haha well ur easy

      actually if someone targeted your mac directly, it wouldn't be hard for them at all.
    1. redhouse101's Avatar
      redhouse101 -
      can we say firefox?
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by redhouse101 View Post
      can we say firefox?
      No we can say google chrome tho
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by imilad View Post
      I thought macs never get viruses
      Only an ignorant Apple slave would say that.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Wanna bet the next update to Safari removes the auto-run of "safe" files option.
    1. jbardi's Avatar
      jbardi -
      This is not a virus.. Stupid windows user are jumping all over this. You have to actually INSTALL it manually you morons.

      Macs do NOT have viruses. A virus installs without human interaction.. only a stupid winblows user like yourself wouldn't know the difference.
    1. NOYB111's Avatar
      NOYB111 -
      Being an old PC guy and only having a MAC for about a year I still am paranoid and regularly run ClamXav on my MAC. Its a free software for MAC virus detection. MAC's are not bullet proof! Just not as easy of a target...
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Like everyone else said, can this really be called a dangerous virus if you have to manually install it? Let's put this in perspective, unless you went and searched "MACDefender" and went to an UNreputable download site (not like download.com, brothersoft, etc.) and downloaded it and then ran it, then you'd have nothing to worry about.

      Needless to say if you have your browser set to automatically decompress/open ZIP, Jar, .gz, etc. files then you're really asking for it.
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      So, with all this talk about how to get the "virus", nobody said what the bloody thing actually does..
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by jbardi View Post
      This is not a virus.. Stupid windows user are jumping all over this. You have to actually INSTALL it manually you morons.

      Macs do NOT have viruses. A virus installs without human interaction.. only a stupid winblows user like yourself wouldn't know the difference.
      You call people morons yet throw terms like "winblows" and "stupid windows user" around.




      Anyway, Safari defaulting to open files automatically is pretty damn bad.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Considering how 98% of Mac users computer-illiterate and unwaveringly Apple-trusting, this should put a sizable dent in the hipster movement nationwide.

      Quote Originally Posted by jbardi View Post
      This is not a virus.. Stupid windows user are jumping all over this. You have to actually INSTALL it manually you morons.

      Macs do NOT have viruses. A virus installs without human interaction.. only a stupid winblows user like yourself wouldn't know the difference.
      [/quote]

      It's called "Malware" - us PC users know exactly what it is. Yes, it is malicious and a virus. And yes, you can install a virus manually. There's no requirement stating that viruses MUST be installed autonomously.

      Sorry if I used big words.
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
      No we can say google chrome tho
      I love chrome, but I think chromium browser looks cooler.
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
      Considering how 98% of Mac users computer-illiterate and unwaveringly Apple-trusting, this should put a sizable dent in the hipster movement nationwide.
      It's called "Malware" - us PC users know exactly what it is. Yes, it is malicious and a virus. And yes, you can install a virus manually. There's no requirement stating that viruses MUST be installed autonomously.

      Sorry if I used big words.[/QUOTE]

      Bleh! I hate malware
    1. ronfin44's Avatar
      ronfin44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jbardi View Post
      This is not a virus.. Stupid windows user are jumping all over this. You have to actually INSTALL it manually you morons.

      Macs do NOT have viruses. A virus installs without human interaction.. only a stupid winblows user like yourself wouldn't know the difference.

      It only took 8 posts till this Fanboy dropped this gem. When are these clowns gonna realize that many people use both Windows and OSX these days, and even if you don't, yet are above the above of puberty, don't have to take these ridiculous "sides" that one is better than the other.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      I switch between chrome and safari personally depends on what I am doing
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cowboy View Post
      I switch between chrome and safari personally depends on what I am doing
      Chrome if you want speed, practicality and fun, Safari if you want malware, right?
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      That's correct lol
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Okay, so just don't agree to install MACDefender? Amirite?