Fake AntiVirus Pop Ups, Mac Edition

By on Jun 22, 2011

I often hear Mac users say “Oh, I don’t have to worry about viruses. I have a Mac!” Well, unfortunately, those days have come to an end. The market share of Apple owners has tipped enough that criminal hackers are taking notice and creating malware targeting Mac users. McAfee explains that there have been Fake Antivirus pop-ups specifically targeting Macs. Unfortunately, with the popularity of Apple products, McAfee believes this is only the beginning.

The Scam is one that has been used for pc users for a few years. Cyberscammers are placing links to fake antivirus software in online search results. They advertise programs with names like “Mac Defender,” “Mac Security” or “Mac Protector,” offering to safeguard your computer from online threats. But once you click on the link, it downloads malicious software onto your machine.

In the background, the program may open up pop-up windows, asking you to upgrade the software for a fee to remove non-existent threats. If you agree to “upgrade,” the cybercrooks get your money—often $50—and you get nothing in return. Or, it may open up pornography, or other undesirable websites.

The Dangers: If you fall for these scams, you could end up damaging your computer, losing money and possibly having your personal information compromised.

Bottom Line: Only download antivirus software from the website of a trusted vendor, and be on the lookout for other online scams targeting the Mac platform.

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim:

  1. Download Mac updates as soon as they’re available, so you’re protected from these latest threats.
  2. Never download or click on anything from an unknown source.
  3. When searching the web, use the safe search tool like McAfee SiteAdvisor®, which tells you if a site is safe to click on or not right in your search results.
  4. Keep your computer safe by installing security software such as McAfee® Internet Security for Mac.

Tips on What to Do If You Have Become a Victim:

You’re a victim, now what?

  1. Disconnect your computer from the Internet and run a full security scan.
  2. Install the Mac update that locates and removes rogue antivirus programs as soon as it’s available.
  3. If you have revealed your credit card or other banking information, immediately contact your financial institutions to notify them of the situation.
  4. Contact the Cybercrime Response Unit at www.mcafee.com/cru, an online help center for advice and technical assistance, if you think you’ve been a victim of a cybercrime.

Sign up for Consumer Threat Alerts, so you can stay up to speed on the latest scams, threats and downloads to keep you Mac or PC clean and your personal information safe.

Stay safe out there!

Tracy

@McAfeeCyberMom on Twitter

About the Author

McAfee

McAfee is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make our world a safer place. Take a look at our latest blogs.

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