How to spot malicious software on a Mac

The fake Mac Finder complete with Sidebar. Note if this was indeed my Mac's Finder, the Home folder would have my name on it instead of "Computer"

Like most of you, I’ve also been online quite a few years now.

Exactly how long I can’t be sure now.

What I can be sure about it is I had dial up modems.

I have to say until the other day, I had never ever seen anything malicious specifically targeting Macs.

It must be a sign of the times  as more and more folks are buying Macs.

Security experts say time and again, all the anti-virus or security software won’t keep you safe.

Being aware and observant is key.

I got a frantic email the other day from my wife while I was in class.

She said “We have a Trojan.”

I asked , “Says who?”

Those internet scumbags actually made a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that mimicked the look of the Mac operating system.

The casual user wouldn’t think to look to see which window was active.

From the screen shot you can see that it’s actually a Safari window, not the Mac Finder.

Red flashing buttons

When you click “Remove All” it starts a download of a .dmg file.

Presumably they’re hoping you’re running your computer as the Admin.

The Mac has one last step to stop them. It will ask you for your Admin password.

If  you enter that password, the malicious software will install and your whole Mac is compromised.

I didn’t dare tempt fate and stopped short of that, of course.

Mouse over the film strip icon below. Fortunately, the scumbags didn’t include any loud audio alerts.

Peter Phun Photography

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4 thoughts on “How to spot malicious software on a Mac”

  1. Paul,
    Thanks for stopping by. I guess these scumbags are hoping the less sophisticated Mac users will fall for this subterfuge, panic and just click.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up Peter.

    The funny ones are those that show a windows-based computer image.

    I too have noticed the incredibly bad English on some.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Jo,
    I didn’t use to have to worry too much since I run all Macs at home but this latest development shows it’s time to be vigilant.

    Yes, the poor English is tell-tale sign luckily. I tried to trace the source of the website by entering the URL but the site has been taken down.

    It’s good to know that someone reported it. Hopefully it hasn’t done too much damage for some unsuspecting Mac user. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Wow, this is creepy! Thanks for the warning, Peter.

    Pretty lame English, too – that’s also a good tip-off:
    “To help protect your computer, Apple Web Security have, detected Trojans and ready to remove them.”

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