Apple to issue update to 'automatically find and remove' Mac Defender malware

Apple has released an advisory that describes how to both avoid and remove Mac Defender malware from affected systems.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

Apple has released an advisory that describes how to both avoid and remove Mac Defender malware from affected systems.

The advisory outlines how to prevent infection, how to force quit the Safari browser and also offers up step-by-step guidance on how to remove the malware.

By wait, there's more!

In the coming days, Apple will deliver a Mac OS X software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants. The update will also help protect users by providing an explicit warning if they download this malware.

Now this is both a good move and a bad move all rolled into one. It's a good move that Apple is starting to take the problem seriously and is taking steps to deal with it. However, I'm not sure how effective it will be in the long run to keep on issuing OS X patches and updates in order to protect Mac users from Mac malware. With one threat it's OK, but if that one threat multiplies into tens or hundreds or possibly thousands of threats, this is going to be come unwieldy real fast.

Also, in the world of security software, a time period measured in 'the coming days' is a geological timescale. Threats evolve quickly and if Apple is going to keep on top of things it is going to have to learn to move faster.

But, as Chester Wisniewski, Senior Security Advisor at Sophos, points out, Apple is a security newbie and has a lot to learn ... starting with proper use of terminology: I have to admit though, as a newbie, it appears that you may have some confusion in your terminology.

You state in your article:

"A recent phishing scam has targeted Mac users by redirecting them from legitimate websites to fake websites which tell them that their computer is infected with a virus."

In our business phishing has a very specific definition.

Oops. I'm sure they'll learn.

That said, after testing Apple's own tech support yesterday, I think that the advice given to those affected is pretty solid - install security software to remove the threat.

Personally though, I think Apple should take some of that massive cash pile it is sitting on and buy a security firm.

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