03 May 2011

Mac Trojan utilizes SEO poisoning

For users of Mac computers, there is no place to hide from cyber criminals. According to an internet security company, a new Trojan called MAC Defender is quickly spreading through search engine optimization poisoning, which targets commonly searched terms to receive prominent placement.

Mac owners searching for legitimate protection may find themselves downloading MAC Defender instead, which acts as a fake antivirus program and pretends to scan for threats. Users are then prompted to download the malicious software through a website that offers 1-year, 2-year or lifetime protection for $60, $70 and $80.

If the program is installed, it will launch once the computer turns on and appears as a menu bar icon.

“As with the rare Mac malware threats that have arisen in the past, the best defense against a Trojan horse like MAC Defender is education and common sense,” wrote Macworld’s Dan Moren.

As more cyber criminals continue to find ways to cash in on unsuspecting users, the first quarter of 2011 saw an increase of activity. According to a report by an internet security company, the amount of daily attacks reached 73,000, increasing 26 percent from the same time period in 2010.