In association with heise online

15 January 2008, 16:24

First rogue anti-spyware application for the Mac

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Security company F-Secure has discovered what claims to be a free trial anti-spyware solution for Macs, but which finds problems that don't exist and pressurises users to buy the full version. This kind of rogue anti-spyware product has been around for years on Windows machines, but represents a new problem for users of the Mac.

According to F-Secure, the MacSweeper software never fails to find security problems. After installation, a pop-up window appears stating that a large but arbitrary number of privacy violations has been found. The only way suggested to remove them is to buy the full version of the program. The online scan provided by the company's website provides another clue to the uselessness of the anti-spyware application. Scanning a Windows machine will tell you that you have security vulnerabilities in folders that don't exist, such as system_root/home, without finding any real security vulnerabilities.

The Spyware Warrior site lists numerous well known rogue anti-spyware products and explains why they are bogus. However, MacSweeper is not even mentioned there. Before installing any anti-spyware solution, users should make sure that they are not installing a useless program on their machines.

Mac users are increasingly being targeted by crooks and malware authors. Trojans such as OSX.RSPlug.A , which redirect browsers to phishing websites that try to acquire confidential online banking or eBay information, have been circulating freely since late last year.

See also:


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit