Is Apple Hiding A Trojan Horse From You?
Early last month, a little piece of software download calling itself Mac Defender Antivirus began making the rounds, targeting Apple computer users interested in making their machines safer.
After installation, the program began listing a variety of viruses it had located, stating that it had isolated them. Want ongoing protection? Simply upgrade by registering the product and providing your credit card number. After you give up your credit information, things look great, because the virus warnings appear to go away.
The problem? This particular version of Mac Defender is not an antivirus program. According to online security company Intego, whoever designed the program knew what they were doing. The interface is slick, it looks like it might be the real Mac Defender software, wording on it sounds professional, and the menus flow well.
This version of Mac Defender Antivirus, unfortunately, also does a great job of hiding the fact that it’s actually a Trojan Horse, meant to steal your credit card information.
Once you discover your machine is infected, it should be an easy process to contact Apple online, on the phone, or to speak with one of the Apple Geniuses in your local mall, right?
No, no, and no.
Ed Bott, technology writer for ZDNet, got his hands on an interesting internal memo provided by Apple to its authorized sales and service centers. The memo details the process by which Apple customer service representatives are to handle concerns about Mac Defender installations.
According the memo, dated May 16th, Apple reps are to provide service as follows:
• Do not confirm or deny that any such software has been installed.
• Do not attempt to remove or uninstall any malware software.
• Do not send any escalations or contact Tier 2 for support about removing the software, or provide impact data.
• Do not refer customers to the Apple Retail Store. The ARS does not provide any additional support for malware.