Virus Malware For Mac

If you bought a MacBook or iMac because you thought it couldn’t get viruses or malware - you’re in for a nasty surprise.

  1. Free Antivirus for Mac While Apple devices are generally less susceptible to hackers, malicious websites and unsecured networks still pose serious threats to your device and privacy. That’s why McAfee Total Protection provides Mac-specific antivirus and anti-malware capabilities.
  2. The myth that Mac computers are immune to viruses and malware is simply not true. Mac computers can get viruses and need file-based antivirus protection. Additionally, they need the other layers of protection offered in a device security software suite such as Firewall, Intrusion Prevention.

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Not only can Mac computers be struck down with the same annoying malware as other computers, they’re now targeted more than their rivals.

The most prevalent of the annoying programs have been named and shamed in a new report by anti-malware software company Malware Bytes.

It said threats on Macs rose 400 per cent last year outpacing those on Windows and in fact almost doubling the amount, with 11 detections per computer over the year.

Part of this rise was attributed to Apple growing market share, which made Macs a more enticing target for malicious coders and hackers than they had been in the past.

Mac Virus Malware Scanner

Turns out Macs aren’t as immune to malware as we thought. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

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Turns out Macs aren’t as immune to malware as we thought. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

The report said Macs were particularly under threat from annoying adware and unwanted programs, differing from Windows where “traditional malware” like Trojan horses (programs or files that hide their true function), backdoors that give hackers access to your computer, and programs that spy on what you’re doing.

This means the threats you’re more likely to face on a Mac are more annoying than they are dangerous. But some can also be a real worry.

“While these threats are not considered as dangerous as traditional malware, they are becoming a much larger and more noticeable nuisance for Mac users who can no longer say that their beloved systems are immune from malware,” the report said.

Immunity to viruses and malware has always been a popular selling point for Macs, and was the subject of one of Apple’s iconic Mac vs PC ad series from the mid-2000s.

The piece of malware that Malware Bytes users detected the most was a piece of adware called NewTab, which was detected 30 million times last year after releasing in December 2018.

The adware hijacks your web browser and attempts to redirect the searches you make to earn affiliate revenue from referring you, making it hard to find the information or web pages you’re actually looking for.

It mostly gets into your computer through apps that embed extensions in Apple’s Safari browser.


It's often spread through fake web pages, particularly flight and postage tracking websites that ask you to download an app in order to track.

The apps don’t track anything.

While the more prevalent adware is annoying, there were also significant detections of more dangerous malware.

Almost twice as much malware was detected on Macs than Windows computers in the report.Source:Supplied

The report noted more than 300,000 detections of a suspicious piece of code, and a similar number of detections of malware that sends you to scam websites instead of the Mac App Store when you try to open a file without the required program installed.

Malware Bytes advised the best defence was vigilance and your own behaviour.

“Of all the threats seen this year, only one incident involved anything other than tricking the user into downloading and opening something they shouldn’t.”

Malware Virus Protection For Macbook

Apple has been contacted for comment.

Have you experienced any of these annoying programs on your computer? Let us know in the comments below.

A phishing scam has targeted Mac users by redirecting them from legitimate websites to fake websites which tell them that their computer is infected with a virus. The user is then offered Mac Defender 'anti-virus' software to solve the issue.
This “anti-virus” software is malware (i.e. malicious software). Its ultimate goal is to get the user's credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes.
The most common names for this malware are MacDefender, MacProtector and MacSecurity.

Apple released a free software update (Security Update 2011-003) that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants.
The Resolution section below also provides step-by-step instructions on how to avoid or manually remove this malware.


How to avoid installing this malware

If any notifications about viruses or security software appear, quit Safari or any other browser that you are using. If a normal attempt at quitting the browser doesn’t work, then Force Quit the browser.

In some cases, your browser may automatically download and launch the installer for this malicious software. If this happens, cancel the installation process; do not enter your administrator password. Delete the installer immediately using the steps below.

  1. Go into the Downloads folder, or your preferred download location.
  2. Drag the installer to the Trash.
  3. Empty the Trash.

How to remove this malware

If the malware has been installed, we recommend the following actions:

  • Do not provide your credit card information under any circumstances.
  • Use the Removal Steps below.

Removal steps

  1. Move or close the Scan Window.
  2. Go to the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and launch Activity Monitor.
  3. Choose All Processes from the pop up menu in the upper right corner of the window.
  4. Under the Process Name column, look for the name of the app and click to select it; common app names include: MacDefender, MacSecurity or MacProtector.
  5. Click the Quit Process button in the upper left corner of the window and select Quit.
  6. Quit Activity Monitor application.
  7. Open the Applications folder.
  8. Locate the app ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector or other name.
  9. Drag to Trash, and empty Trash.

Malware also installs a login item in your account in System Preferences. Removal of the login item is not necessary, but you can remove it by following the steps below.

  • Open System Preferences, select Accounts, then Login Items
  • Select the name of the app you removed in the steps above ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector
  • Click the minus button

Use the steps in the “How to avoid installing this malware” section above to remove the installer from the download location.

Note: Apple provides security updates for the Mac exclusively through Software Update and the Apple Support Downloads site. User should exercise caution any time they are asked to enter sensitive personal information online.