All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Cyber criminals to copy MacDefender OS X malware scam in 2012

24 Jan 2012
Apple MacBook Air

The rise of the infamous MacDefender malware in 2011 has set an example cyber criminals are likely to follow in the coming year, according to Mac OS X security specialist Intego.

The firm said that the emergence of MacDefender proved that malware can thrive in a Mac user community not accustomed to dealing with security threats.

First discovered in May, the MacDefender infection menaced users throughout the summer. Posing as a security tool, the infection used phony alert dialogues to convince users to pay a registration fee for the software.

When Apple took steps to isolate and block the infection, the malware was repackaged with workarounds to avoid detection.

Intego spokesman Peter James told V3 that MacDefender showed malware writers that targeting OS X systems was finally worth the time and effort.

Furthermore, the unfamiliarity many Mac users have with the social engineering tactics used by malware writers made them particularly prone to attacks.

"MacDefender made the malware community realise that Macs are a target," James explained.

"Mac users are not used to having these threats, and they don't know how to deal with them."

Social engineering tactics in general are expected to be prevalent in 2012. James noted that the closed nature of iOS and the strict controls of the App Store help keep malicious software from threatening most iPhones and iPads.

Apple's mobile devices, however, remain prone to the web-based phishing and fraud operations that target all desktop and mobile users.

"Phishing works, social engineering works and 419 scams work," he explained. "They all depend on a user's gullibility, and those things are not going to change."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?
11%
22%
14%
7%
46%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

IT Support Engineer 1st & 2nd Line

The Role As a fast growing IT Services & Support...

IT Asset Specialist

Mobilisation specialists required….. Nationwide...

Head of Digital

Marketing, Communications & Development - Head...

Network Engineer

FirstCare Ltd are the UK’s largest absence management...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.