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Apple enjoys some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty in the business world.  iPhone users tend to be fervent fans of their sleek smartphones; Mac users tend to be loyal to the brand, mocking those unfortunate enough not to know that Apple is superior.  One of the benefits touted by Mac users is the relative security of their systems; Windows, is, by far, the preferred target for attacks from blackhat SEO and is typically more prone to viruses.  A new virus, though, is attacking the Mac OS X, reminding us that no one is immune and that everyone should use caution, no matter what their operating system.

While attacks appear to be limited, a fake antivirus program has been spotted in the wild.  MAC Defender poses as an antivirus program and is spread through visits to infected websites.  Blackhat SEOs capitalize on the public’s interest in top news stories, such as the death of Osama bin Laden or the royal wedding, to get their infected sites to the top of the SERPs.  Users can pick up a Trojan carrying malware, such as MAC Defender, just by entering the site, but it is also possible to allow the virus to enter when you click an ad or on a pop-up within the site.

How do you recognize this rogue?  A big tip-off is that a Windows screen pops up in the Safari browser when the user visits an infected site.  The best way to avoid fakes like this is to keep your legitimate security program up-to-date and be cautious when running searches for trending topics.  MAC Defender, and another Mac attacker, Best Mac Antivirus, were discovered when researchers were looking at malware linked to the stories of bin Laden’s death.  This is a very common tactic, so it is crucial that you be selective of the sites you click on.

No system is immune from viruses and Trojans; make sure your security is current, updated, and ready to tackle these unwelcome visitors.

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