Feeds

Apple strikes back with update blocking new scareware

'The cat and mouse game has begun'

The essential guide to IT transformation

Apple has updated Mac OS X to detect a piece of scareware that managed to bypass its malware-blocking measures.

As previously reported, a variant of a rogue antivirus package known as MacDefender was introduced on Tuesday that evaded the malware protection feature built into the latest version of the Mac operating system. In a series of events that closely mimics those in the Windows world, the variant was introduced just hours after Apple had added a malware signature designed to stop downloads of the malicious program.

"The cat and mouse game has begun," Mac antivirus provider Intego wrote in a blog post published on Thursday. "We will be following this closely, and testing all new variants as they appear. The people behind this malware have shown that they can react very quickly, and Apple has reacted rapidly as well."

Mac OS X Security preferences pane

Mac OS X System Preferences > Security > General: better safe than sorry

The latest update is specifically designed to detect a file called mdInstall.pkg, which installs MacDefender.C. Like similarly named programs such as MacGuard, the programs get installed after Mac users are tricked into believing their machines are riddled with infections. The ruse works by presenting people surfing Google Images, Facebook, and other sites with images depicting an antivirus scan on a Mac hard drive. Inevitably, the scan falsely claims that the users' machines are compromised and urges the rogue antivirus package be installed immediately.

Apple added the MacDefender definitions on Tuesday, following widely scattered evidence that the social engineering attacks were achieving their intended result.

The update protecting against the latest variant will automatically be installed on Macs running the latest version of Mac OS X that are configured to do so. To turn on automatic updating, go to System Preferences > Security, and select the General tab. Then make sure there is a check mark next to "Automatically update safe downloads list." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?