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Beware of a fake flash download on Macs

By March 28, 2016 Uncategorized

Just when you thought your Mac was safe from security threats, here we come with troubling news. There’s a new form of scareware in town that’s been fooling Mac users into purchasing illegitimate software. However, in all fairness, this one is quite convincing. Want to ensure you don’t get duped? Read on.

What is scareware?
If you’ve never heard of it, scareware is a type of malware designed to trick you into purchasing illegitimate software. If you’ve ever been prompted to buy the antivirus software known as Mac Defender (also known as Mac Protector, Mac Guard, Mac Security, etc.), then you’ve seen scareware firsthand. Essentially, this malware burrows into your computer and attempts to scare you into purchasing their product, oftentimes which is antivirus. That’s also how this new scareware works.

How this new Mac scareware fools consumers
If you’re familiar with scareware, you may think you have nothing to worry about. You already know how scareware attempts to trick users, so why should you be afraid of this one? The reason: This malware masquerades as an Adobe Flash update, a believable one—because the installer is signed with a legitimate Apple developer certificate and downloads a legitimate version of Flash. The catch is that it also downloads the scareware.

What happens once you download the scareware?
After you download the Adobe Flash update, the scareware is also installed on your system. It will prompt you to scan your computer. If you do, it will claim you have a variety of malware on your system like Trojans, viruses, worms, and more, attempting to scare you into buying fake security software. If you’re reading this and are at this stage in the ruse, don’t buy the software.

Regardless of whether you’re a Mac or PC user, there’s a valuable lesson to learn here. When getting software updates, ignore all prompts from random third-party sites. Instead you should get your updates directly from the software developer.

Malware is becoming a growing threat for Mac users. It’s important to remember that just because you use a Mac doesn’t mean you’re immune to security threats. If you’d like to know more about how to protect your Apple systems, call our Mac security experts today.