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Summary:

Apple posted a short support article late Tuesday called “How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware,” which provides instructions on dealing with an existing malware infection, and also promises an update in the near future that will automatically seek it out and remove it.

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Apple posted a short support article late Tuesday called “How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware,” which provides instructions on dealing with an existing malware infection, and also promises an update in the near future that will automatically seek it out and remove it.

Before the release of the support note yesterday, it was reported by ZDNet’s Ed Bott that Apple support staff on the phone were indicating that they couldn’t provide instructions for dealing with specific instances of malware. The fix is not overly complicated, but explaining it individually over the phone to every affected customer would tie up a lot of customer service agents, and it could set a dangerous precedent for the future treatment of such situations.

The article promises that “Apple will deliver a Mac OS X software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants,” and that the update will arrive “in the coming days.” Users will also receive an explicit warning notification if they happen to download this malware once the update is installed.

The step-by-step instructions for removing the Mac Defender malware involve using Activity Monitor to kill all running instances of the program and its equivalents (MacProtector, MacSecurity), then dragging the applications to the Trash, and finally, emptying the Trash. Apple also provides instructions for removing the malware’s login item, though the login item is no longer a threat once the application is removed from your system.

Glad to see Apple responding to the valid security concerns of its users. Let’s hope this isn’t the just beginning of the Mac’s serious malware woes.

  1. It’s surprising that one of the key reasons people provide for paying so much more for a Mac is Apple Care and yet in this case they didn’t or wouldn’t provide support.

    In your article you said, “The fix is not overly complicated, but explaining it individually over the phone to every affected customer would tie up a lot of customer service agents, and it could set a dangerous precedent for the future treatment of such situations.”

    Isn’t this what you pay for? It can’t be because the hardware costs more? It’s essentially the same as a PC. If you’re going to pay that much for a computer you should get something for it. The operating system is a themed version of Linux/Unix. The hardware is mostly the same as a PC, it just looks nicer. So, it must be the Apple Care that you are paying for. They need to provide support. Microsoft has a whole department just for providing assistance to remove malware.

    It’s only the beginning for Apple. As their market share grows, all those machines out there running no antivirus and users who believe their machines are impervious against malware and viruses is going to be a valuable target.

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    1. Claiming that Apple is or should be responsible for helping a user rid themselves of malware is incorrect. AppleCare is not your neighborhood geek or service center where you bring your computer to get fixed. AppleCare is an extension of a limited warranty, as well as technical support for Apple hardware and software issues. If you have a hardware issue, AppleCare covers you. If you have an OS issue, AppleCare covers you. If you have an issue with other Apple software on your machine, AppleCare covers you. If you have a problem with Microsoft Word, AppleCare will NOT cover you. Why? Because it is a third party product. Apple can not be expected to provide technical support for all third party products installed on user’s machines. If you installed an “anti-virus” program on your computer and it turns out it is malware, AppleCare will NOT cover you. Why? Because it is third party software! AppleCare is designed to provide technical support for Apple hardware and Apple software, which is clearly outlined in Apple’s AppleCare Service Plan.

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  2. It’s hardly complex to walk through step-by-step on the phone. What it is is time consuming, and that means that the CSR will be on the phone a long time, something companies don’t want.

    As far as the “hope,” of course it is. People should already have AV on their Macs. Macs have never been invulnerable, just NOT targeted. Now that the OS is “profitable” for hackers, it will continue to be attacked.

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    1. Malarkey! The thing is a trojan, not a virus or worm. You have to be stupid. You have to be working all day in a privileged Admin account with brainless security settings on downloaded file opening. Most AV products for Mac are pretty close to malware in their own right. “Profitable for hackers” is one of the longest surviving myths for the hard of thinking. In spite of offering the highest possible grade of brownie points for the first black hat that gets one into the wild, there is no worm. there is no virus.

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  3. Apple has deleived the update about the Mac OS X software and is best in provinding variou features for removal of malware’s login. I got it from says http://t.co/6KOftiV .

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