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Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Scareware Targets Macs — MacSweeper

MacSweeper marks the first time a rouge “cleaning tool” has been developed and targeted to Mac users, indicating the platform is gaining enough users that it is catching the attention of malicious code writers, according to security firm F-Secure.

Windows users should already be aware of the rogue antivirus products, which use pop-ups and/or fake ‘scans’ to produce a list of “problems” that sound really scary or important (thus the moniker “scareware) — if you purchase the product to ‘solve’ the issues, your problems have just begun.
This is simply a version targeting Mac users.

Here is a video from F-Secure explaining the details and methods used.

Yes, all you Apple fans.. it’s time to stop thinking you’re immune from hackers, cybercriminals, and malware.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 11, 2009 - Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, hackers, phraud, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. No mac user is going to fall for this


    Comment by Ronch3 | April 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Raunchy,
      I am very curious.. what makes you think that?


      Comment by techpaul | April 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yes, Mac Users will definitely fall for this; unless you are really tech (Mac) savvy. I just had a relative (new Mac user) and she was led to believe that Macs are immune from viruses, malware, spyware, etc. I can see this relative falling for this due Macs’ have not been in the crosshairs for malware attacks. Nothing is immune from this crap, as Mac users are about to find out!

    Thanks for bringing this important information to our attention.


    Comment by whatsonmypc | April 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Actually, Macs have been hit before, and Safari was rather easily exploited — but this is an example of a scam using “social engineering”, and is not really a virus, worm, or “trojan”.

      True malware which runs on OS X is still considered very rare “in the wild” (aka “on the Internet”) but the signs are there that Apple has reached a level of market share that places them “in the crosshairs” of those folks whose job it is to write the code that steals our money and hijacks our computers.
      This is “news” now, but give it a year..

      On the subject of scams, conmen, and “social engineering”, I will just quote a rather noted man, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time..”


      Comment by techpaul | April 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. I get so angry whenever I see that ad, SCAM!! I remember when they were selling “Stop Sign”. Bad enough selling somethig that can’t help, but installing. Spyware, maleware, and maybe Trojans or worse. What alphabet agency, FTC, FCC, BBB, or John Dvorak should we complain to?


    Comment by Larry | April 12, 2009 | Reply

  4. Hi Paul,
    Most of the Rogue Security Software have been targeted at Windows users. This is the first time I have come across one targeted at Mac users.
    The fight is going to get interesting.


    Comment by desinet1 | April 13, 2009 | Reply

    • desinet1,
      I predict that we will see much of what we are already familiar with.. simply “re-tooled” to appeal to Mac owners, and malware built with the Apple file system in mind.
      The bad guy’s goals will be the same — theft.

      The only reason we haven’t seen this stuff before is — until recently, 95% of the computers in the world were Windows.


      Comment by techpaul | April 13, 2009 | Reply

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