May 29, 2011


The fact that Mac users have fallen victim to “scareware” scams — the kind that have long plagued Windows users — shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, fake antivirus software schemes like MacDefender don’t have to rely on exploitable vulnerabilities, but instead typically depend on tricking users into visiting malicious sites and duping them into installing the software.

And Mac users, for all their pretensions otherwise, are as fallible as the next person.

There were some rogue ads on this site doing this, but they’re supposed to have been removed now. I’ve seen this via Java in rogue ads elsewhere in the past, too, once on my local TV station’s page. Don’t click on them!

Related: How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Glenn, I have been doing mac tech support since the mid 90s. Why is this effective now? Because in the past few years the percentage of Mac users who formerly used Windows in the past 5 years is greater than Mac users who used Macs since before then. IMO, the windows users have brought their own habits and expectations that scareware villains can easily trick. Every victim of this I have helped has been a Windows user from the past 5 years or less.”

You’d think Windows users would be more careful about viruses.

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