ZDNet is reporting that AppleCare is experiencing a high spike in cases where a malware named ‘Mac Defender’ is affecting Mac computers. They have conducted an interview with an unnamed employee.
Customer care rep describing the problem:
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.
Their instructions from their superiors:
Our notice for Mac Defender is that we’re not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer.
The speed at which it’s spreading:
It started with one call a day two weeks ago, now it’s every other call. It’s getting worse. And quick.
Before Mac users start panicking please note the following:
- This malware is using ‘social engineering’ tactics to infect machines. One must allow it to infect the machine by giving it the administrator password.
- It is easily removable using basic anti-virus software like Norton and MacAfee
- Although the pace is gaining momentum, it is nothing close to the problems Windows has on a daily basis.
It is disturbing to see malware spread so quickly on a platform that has bragged about its security. Mac Defender can also go by the name ‘Apple Security’ and other security related names. Also, pornographic websites may pop up to “prove” that the machine is infected.
With Apple not forced to get involved (AppleCare does not cover malware) will this continue to spread and multiply and potentially hurt Apple’s reputation?