Apple’s Growing Up and Getting Big Boy Scareware

Melanie Gross
May 21, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Apple, Companies

A couple of weeks ago word started spreading to Apple forums that there was malware installed on some systems. Discussion has continued to grow, and even security companies have reported that there is, indeed, a virus for macs in the wild. Seemingly the only company who is still denying the existence of the bug is Apple.

The malware spreads in a way similar to several that have recently been passed to Windows machines. It calls itself Mac Defender or Mac Security, and encourages a user to download it from a web page with an infected link or advertisement. It appears at a glance to be a legitimate piece of antivirus software.

Once downloaded, it asks the user to enter a username and password to allow for a system scan. Then it installs, complete with a nifty menu item. It lets the user know that the computer has been infected with viruses and offers to fix the problem for a small fee. Once the user has entered a credit card, the scareware says it was denied and asks for another. Clever. Once installed, the software uncontrollably brings up porn websites.

While security companies scramble for a fix, Apple refuses to comment on the situation, neither confirming nor denying the existence of the bug. In an internal document leaked to the internet, support staff were told not to admit to the bug at all, and not to help with uninstallation.

While this kind of malware is becoming downright common for windows, Apple is not used to dealing with this type of situation. There are very few Apple bugs. The reason is not, necessarily, that Apple is any more secure than Windows. It’s more likely that Apple has had a small, if loyal, market share up until now. Macs are becoming more popular, though. If there is safety in obscurity, then as Apple’s obscurity disappears, so does the safety factor.

Apple’s tendency towards secrecy will not serve it well here. Acknowledging the problem would give mac users peace of mind, and would let them know that a fix is coming. Being open with the public about security problems is, in general, smarter for a company than trying to hide them. Apple has not had to face this enough yet to get that point.

Any Apple fan will tell me how much better Macs are than PCs. Okay. Whether that’s true or not, though, you have to admit that as Apple becomes more popular, the company will have to face some of the problems that Windows has been facing for years. This is just one of the first. Yay, Apple, look at the positives. This is a good sign, right ...?

What are your thoughts? If you are on a mac, do you agree with the experts who still say that an antivirus program is not necessary for the Mac? Will you install one? How do you think Apple should handle this? In your opinion, are they on the right track?

Apple’s Growing Up and Getting Big Boy Scareware
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Apple’s Growing Up and Getting Big Boy Scareware
A couple of weeks ago word started spreading to Apple forums that there was malware installed on some systems.

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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

    1. E. Fromme said on September 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      EMRE ÇITAK posts are useless because they are fraught with inaccuracies and are irrelevant.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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