Skip to comments.An AppleCare support rep talks: Mac malware is "getting worse"
Posted on 05/18/2011 10:32:28 AM PDT by Loud Mime
Over the weekend, I got an e-mail from an AppleCare support rep, who was responding to my recent reports of Mac malware being found in the wild. At least one prominent voice in the Mac community dismisses these reports as crying wolf. The view from inside an Apple call center says its for real:
I can tell you for a fact, many, many people are falling for this attack. Our call volume here at AppleCare is 4-5x higher than normal and [the overwhelming majority] of our calls are about this Mac Defender and its aliases. Many frustrated Mac users think their Mac is impervious to viruses and think this is a real warning from Apple. I really wish I could say not many people will fall for this, but in this last week, we have had nothing but Mac Defender and similar calls.
I contacted this person and arranged an interview. Ive edited our conversation to remove any details that might identify this individual or the call center location, but otherwise this is a verbatim transcript.
EB: Until this latest round of fake AV software started, what was a typical week like for you?
AC: Theres usually about 600 or so of us spread around 14 centers for CPU support. Before this started happening, we had 7-12 minutes between calls generally. Now were lucky to have any time between calls.
We started getting a trickle of calls a couple weeks ago. However, this last week over 50% of our calls have been about it. In two days last week I personally took 60 calls that referred to Mac Defender.
EB: Do you have a support database that you share for cases like this?
AC: What do you mean? As in articles for new issues were running into?
EB: Yes, there must have been a point where you noticed that a lot of people were dealing with this Mac Defender thing and that it wasnt just your calls.
AC: We have a team of people who go though all case notes and find new issues that are popping up a lot and send notices to all of AppleCare. Our notice for Mac Defender is that were not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer.
AC: Thats about what i said when I read it. The reason for the rule, they say, is that even though Mac Defender is easy to remove, we cant set the expectation to customers that we will be able to remove all malware in the future. Thats what antivirus is for.
More at the source.
How’s Mac’s security software? Can you use AVG in their pc and notebooks?
It sounds like it. At the same time, we haven’t seen a single incident here, and we’ve quite a few macs, professionally speaking.
I think I recall someone posting here a while back a quote from a hacker along the lines that Apple was safe for a long time only because of an unwritten code among hackers they don’t go after machines they use and also, Apple wasn’t part of enough infrastructure (Banks, Industry, etc) to make it worth it. The more prolific it becomes, the bigger of a target it becomes- especially as more and more companies are using Macs.
Could you put this in English for me?? I have a mac , but do not understand what you are saying at all.. help an old lady mac user
The biggest hole in security always has been and always will be the user. Doesn’t matter how secure the OS is if the user is willing to click yes on every popup and provide the necessary credentials the machine will become a pit of malware.
Basically, don’t believe anyone who tells you that Macs are safe from Viruses or Malware. Always have anti-virus and anti-Malware software installed and running.
MAc users get a dose of the real world......
A victim of their own success.
I would point out that this is NOT a virus.
You have to deliberately download it.
You have to deliberately allow the installer to run.
It doesn’t propagate itself to other machines.
That’s not to say that it’s harmless.
There’s a trojan out there called Mac Defender, it says it’s anti-spyware, it looks like it comes from Apple, if you say yes to install it bad things will happen.
I went and read the articles ... In the one article it noted that Google Chrome downloaded it automatically where fire fox asked if you wanted to down load.. I have been using chrome ..even as I type.. I am thinking I need to go back to Safari
If you live out in the sticks in a farmhouse, miles from your nearest neighbor, you can leave your door unlocked.
Just don’t believe that a farmhouse is more secure than a townhouse just because nobody has ever broken in.
There's some new trojan program that is hitting Macs if you are gullible enough to download it. Here's a link that explains matters.
Based on what I could glean from the article,
There is a virus called MacDefender which displays a screen saying that the Apple Software has detected a virus, and do you want the system to fix/remove it?
When you give it permission, it then plays nasty with your computer.
The AppleCare rep is saying that Apple Software DOES NOT come up and say it found a virus and will fix it for you, so if you see that, you know you are infected and need to get some REAL antivirus software to fix it.
If you are browsing somewhere, and get a message that your computer is infected and that all you need to do is click here and get cleaned....
DON’T BELIEVE IT.
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