Apple Acknowledges ‘ Mac Defender’ Problem, Releases Removal Instructions

In a not surprising move Apple has finally relented and admitted that there is actually a potential problem with the so called “Mac Defender” malware and has offered a fix on its support website. In case you haven’t been keeping up, Mac users have recently been targeted by a phishing scam that falsely claimed their computers were infected with a virus.

When redirected to an illegitimate website to deal with the “virus”, users were instructed to install “Mac Defender,” which was malware disguised as an antivirus application. Until recently, Apple had reportedly told its AppleCare support team to deny the problem exists and  “not remove or uninstall any malware” found on any computer.

But now the company has apparently changed its mind and decided to not ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Reportedly, between 60,000 and 125,000 customers had contacted Apple for solutions to this issue.

Maybe that’s why Apple decided it was time to acknowledge the problem publicly. We’ll probably never really know the whole story.

As with a lot of malware, this particular one relies on the user in order to be installed on a computer. Let this be yet another lesson, don’t believe everything you see on your computer and don’t just install something because something says you need it. Think about it first.

Click through for the removal steps as posted by Apple plus a video showing you what the malware looks like. Any Mac users out there have this problem? Let us know in the comments.

Removal Steps

• Move or close the Scan Window
• Go to the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and launch Activity Monitor
• Choose All Processes from the pop up menu in the upper right corner of the window
• Under the Process Name column, look for the name of the app and click to select it; common app names include: MacDefender, MacSecurity or MacProtector
• Click the Quit Process button in the upper left corner of the window and select Quit
• Quit Activity Monitor application
• Open the Applications folder
• Locate the app (ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector or other name)
• Drag to Trash, and empty Trash

Photo by The Mac Security Blog

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