Home » Mac, Software

The face of Mac scareware

14 May 2011 3,390 views One Comment

What does scareware look like on the Macintosh? A Fairer Platform tipster provided the above screencap of a webpage (click through for a larger, unedited image) that he saw pop up on his trusty Mac. Looks pretty convincing, doesn’t it?

Here are a few clues that should tip you off that the above really isn’t a legitimate site:

4 Day Sale MacBook Mania  • There are NO Mac viruses (self-propating malware). None exist
• Neither “Apple Web Security” nor “Apple Security Center” exist
• There aren’t any browser-based anti-virus apps for the Mac
• Apple sometimes takes grammatical license, but would never publish the words, “[We] have detected Trojans and ready to remove them.”
• In case you missed it the first time, there are NO Mac viruses. None exist.

Covering the bases

Likewise, MacFixit offers a four-point checklist for determining whether the webpage/email you’re looking at is malware/scareware or not:

Shop for Mice at Logitech 1. Did you install it? — If not, it can’t be scanning your Mac.

2. Is it a webpage? — If the “virus scanner” is running in Safari or Mail (look at the upper left corner of your Mac’s display for the name of the app), it’s not a virus scanner.

3. Do the infected files exist? — Use Spotlight to search for the purported infected files and you won’t find them on your Mac (i.e. there are no Mac viruses).

4. Is it ultimately asking your for something? — The punchline for every scareware app is that they want to get paid to remove the (nonexistent) malware.

Again, not to belabor the point, but there aren’t any Mac viruses. Yes, there are Trojans — i.e. Apple Security Center, MacDefender, etc. — but they can’t infect let alone do any harm unless you install them.

That said, check out the Fairer Platform’s Top 10 free ways to secure your Mac and try to stay out of trouble…

Having security issues?

Dragon Dictate for Mac

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.