Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

Summary: Apple has just released a security update for Mac OS X that is designed to detect and remove Mac Defender malware. But unless you're running the latest 'Snow Leopard' version, you're outta luck.

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Apple has just released a security update for Mac OS X that is designed to detect and remove Mac Defender malware. But unless you're running the latest 'Snow Leopard' version, you're outta luck.

Apple security update 2011-003 (only for Snow Leopard) consists of three components:

File Quarantine Malware detection definitions for OSX.MacDefender.A has been added to the File Quarantine system.

Automatic Updates The system will check daily for updates to the File Quarantine malware definition list. An opt-out is available.

Malware Removal The update will scan and remove Mac Defender and known variants.

This update is available for Mac OS X v10.6.7 and Mac OS X Server v10.6.7 (if you're using an earlier version of Mac OS X, tough, Apple doesn't love you) via Software Updates or via Apple Downloads. No reboot required.

Hello Mac OS X users, welcome to the world of daily malware signature updates.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Security, Software

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30 comments
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  • Hey, how about a better headline: Apple update

    implements malware protection. It just isn't for MacDefender, but anything that shows up in the File quarantine database.
    fr_gough
    • And, whole MacDefender thing is grossly overblown by media

      @fr_gough <br><br>Since people has to have three level of cluelessness to actually harmed by this (comparing to PC counterparts, where such social engineering technologies much more effective): <br><a href="http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-97915-1892322" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.zdnet.com/tb/1-97915-1892322</a>
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

        @denisrs You act like the attack vector is different from the majority of Windows malware. Guess what? There are more "clueless" people that use computers than there are techies. To act like this isn't a problem is silly. And Apple agrees with me here, because they released a solution specifically dealing with this problem.
        Aerowind
      • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

        @AHK: what does this have to do with "Hardware 2.0"?
        nomorebs
      • @nomorebs

        ... Macs are hardware, right?
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

        @denisrs
        Nope still have to enter username and password on windows.
        So the malware problems are basically identical.
        IamNot-iNaive
      • So so wrong its ridiculous.

        @denisrs
        At the great risk of sounding repetitive, I have to say, your so much beyond wrong about something like this on a PC, that you are in fact completely wrong.

        The only exceptions to just how wrong you are would be in the instance of what I hope is a very narrow band of morons who use a PC without any kind of AV installed. I can personally attest to the fact, that for example the AVG free edition stops this particular attack dead in its tracks before it can do anything. This was so on the very day Ed posted his first story on this attack. This is the kind of result anyone with a PC with updated AV should get for this kind of attack.

        It should also have been the result for any Mac user with updated AV installed. The whole story really should have been a none issue and would likely have been if this was a PC centric problem. There are always plenty of attacks set up for PC's but simple AV programs are pretty thorough these days at shutting such things down like this. While I know there will be those Mac users out there who will still believe that installing an AV program is an admission of defeat in the "My OS is bullet proof" argument, they had better start facing facts. And that fact is, if Apple users do not start getting with the program, a PC with antivirus will soon be much safer then a Mac without AV.
        Cayble
      • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

        @AHK: Yes, but this post is not about hardware, is about a software update that is not even a driver or something like that. <br><br>If you are going to follow that logic you should also blog about, for _example_, scientific calculators
        nomorebs
    • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

      @fr_gough Except File Quarantine isn't new, it's been around for a while.
      Aerowind
  • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

    lol - I guess this is Apple's "Patch Tuesday"
    Admin71
    • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

      @Bookmark71

      Close, they still release patches whenever they feel like.
      rtk
  • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

    Piece of cake, 2.1Mb, 30 seconds download, done.
    bjames3
    • Thats kind of funny.

      @bjames3
      "Piece of cake, 2.1Mb, 30 seconds download, done"

      Ya, and it should be a peice of cake. It shouldnt be a big deal of any kind.

      I hope the only reason you said the peice of cake thing was to convince uncaring Mac users that this is something they make sure they get done because its "a peice of cake".

      I hope you didnt say that to try and say that because the update was a peice of cake to do, the whole thing is a none issue.

      It just seems like an odd comment.
      Cayble
  • security updates only for the latest OS Version?

    long way to go, Apple
    Dum0nt
    • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

      @Dum0nt

      Security updates are still around for Leopard, but Malware scanning is a Snow Leopard feature. Most users are on Snow Leopard now - Mac users tend to update a lot faster than Windows users (cheaper and easier).
      TheSceptic
  • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

    Now they acknowledge and remove it when just a week ago they said they wouldn't. Pretty poor customer service.
    LoverockDavidson
  • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

    <I>"The system will check daily for updates to the File Quarantine malware definition list."</I>

    I thought that was something only PC users had to deal with? ;)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

    @AHK: what does this have to do with "Hardware 2.0"?
    "... Macs are hardware, right?"

    Macs are. SOFTware, like an OS or malware are not.
    Serton
    • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

      @Serton

      Macs are hardware, OS X is the default OS on a Mac, and Mac Defender is the latest malware to target OS X.

      Regardless, what was your point?
      rtk
      • RE: Apple releases 'Mac Defender' security update

        @rtk

        Subtle point perhaps, but the attack is on the user, not the OS i.e, there is no vulnerability in OS X itself that is the target of an exploit here. OS X users can be tricked into installing malicious software on their Macs, as can Windows users on their PCs. What's to argue about?

        Disclosure: I run OS X, Windows and Linux on my Macbook.
        zdnet-gregc