Think Your MAC is Safe? Learn These Insider Tips to Identify and Remove MacDefender Trojans

Macintosh is well-known for being safe, secure, and smooth-running. However, hackers and cyber spies are becoming more and more ingenuous in tapping into private networks and computers that even what once was the safest device has also been struck.

How do you tell if your MAC has been affected by Trojans specifically aimed for MAC users?

Users should first be aware of how the software can infiltrate their devices. The malware often comes from Google images. However, it can actually be resourced from any website that hackers were able to get their JavaScript to run. When an unsuspecting user visits this domain, it redirects them to another malicious site as powered by the JavaScript that the hackers installed. These websites are frequently changed by cyber criminals so there is no practical way to filter them. Upon reaching these malicious sites, the users will be prompted with messages which match MacDefender in Action or the MacDefender variant – MacSecurity. When users click on this site, a file is instantly downloaded to their hard drive. These files may even be named as BestAntivirus or any variables masking as anti-malware but are really computer Trojan horses. This is why users need to always keep their Downloads folder spotless or regulated to make it easier for them to identify and remove whenever an unfamiliar item has been added. Other downloaded files may be zipped but the files may almost instantly be unzipped, depending on the settings that the user has on. The files contained is an installer package which also has similar names as its Trojan counterpart such as MacSecurity or any name that will appear as innocent or even helpful. The file usually opens automatically through Apple’s installer. Because the program looks highly official, a lot of users are fooled into thinking that this is a software update. Up to this point, this attempt to latch into your system is nothing but a threat and can do your computer no harm unless you click on the Continue button. If users opt to ignore and throw away the file, they can already dodge this harm and need not worry any longer. However, when users do install, they may be prompted to key in their administrative info and when they do, the malicious application will then be installed in their Applications folder and would instantly open and added to their login items so that it activates whenever the MAC is used. When the Trojan runs, users will be alerted that their device is virus-infected and will be prompted to register anti-virus software which inevitably leads them to key in their bank account info or credit card digits. By this point, users should be wary to provide any info. But in the event that the bank details are already provided, the best and fastest way to remedy the problem is call the issuing bank and cancel the credit card.

How to Respond When Infected

Here are the steps on how to go about with the Trojan after it hits your MAC: 1. Close the Scan window. 2. Open the Activity monitor. 3. Find the MacDefender or the name of the program in the list, select, and click on Quit Process. 4. Open the System Preferences, navigate to the Accounts icon, click on the Login items tab, click the name of the Trojan in the list and remove it. 5. Open the Applications folder, find the Trojan, and drag it into your trash bin. If prompted for your administrative password, key it in to remove the Trojan. 6. Empty the trash. Of course, your first line of defence will always be to remain vigilant and discriminative on what links to click, what sites to open, and what files to download. However, these guidelines and steps will help you identify and remove Trojans when it attacks your MAC.

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