Feeds

New Mac scareware variant installs without password

Welcome to the world, fanbois

High performance access to file storage

Scammers have developed a strain of Mac scareware that avoids the need to trick a mark into entering an administrative password.

Earlier rogue anti-virus strains, such as MacDefender, need permission to run, a hurdle MacGuard neatly sidesteps. MacGuard works on the premise that home users have administrator rights, meaning they don't need to enter the administrator password to install software in the Applications folder.

MacGuard downloads itself into this folder rather than the default download folder. This downloader connects to malicious IP addresses hidden in its own resources folder. The appearance of the malware means that advice to treat all unexpected requests for the administrator password with suspicion becomes moot. "This is not the sky falling, but it does change the game somewhat," writes anti-malware researcher David Harley.

Mac security specialist Intego reports that MacGuard, which it describes as a variant of MacDefender, is being distributed via various portals offering fake security scans. These portals are getting promoted through search engine manipulation. Intego has a write-up of the scam here.

After advising support staff not to help users who might be infected by MacDefender for at least a fortnight, Apple rethought its position and posted an advisory on dealing with the malware on Tuesday. Part of its advice – to cancel the installation process and not to enter admin passwords – has been rendered redundant by the arrival of MacGuard.

Sophos has charted the evolution of Mac-specific malware which it reckons is "advancing fast and taking many cues from the Windows malware scene" in a blog post here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.