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New shareware scam targets Apple users

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February 8, 2016

Attentive security watchers have spotted a new shareware scam today that targets Apple users. The scamware features some nasty code signed with a legitimate Apple developer certificate that can cause mayhem with Apple devices.

The malware poses as an Adobe Flash update, typically presented to potential marks as a pop-up reminder.

Those who fall for the ruse will end up unwittingly downloading and running a bogus version of Adobe Flash that actually infected their system with scareware.

A genuine version of Adobe Flash is downloaded in the background onto Macs alongside the malware, presumably in an attempt to appear more legitimate to any user who begins to suspect something is going on.

But the malware component of the downloads will soon start warning about fictitious security issues in a bid to trick victims into buying bad software.

Compromised Macs and Apple devices may also get loaded with malicious browser extensions as well.

The developer certificate (assigned to a Maksim Noskov) has yet to be revoked by Apple, according to an alert by Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center.

The signing aspect of what’s still essentially a social engineering-based attack means that the malicious code will bypass protections offered by OS X Gatekeeper, Apple’s built-in security technology.

The malicious code will not install itself automatically as soon as a potential victim strays onto a dodgy website, however.

Mac security specialist firm Intego warns that the installers in play as part of the attack might easily change, so that cybercriminals might easily switch to using a different bait, perhaps posing as either freeware, shareware or an open source tool.

Security firms already detect the malware in play but it would be foolish to rely on that alone.

Computer users in general should see the incident as a lesson that they are far safer getting software updates from the software developers directly.

Help from random third-party sites in getting software updates is best ignored, and this goes for Windows users as well as Mac.

So-called scareware has become a real issue of late on Macs but it’s a far bigger issue on Windows PCs up until ransomware took over as an even more potent threat.

Scams that rely on scrambling the files of compromised machines before extorting victims into paying up seem quaint, a relic of a civil era of malware slinging.

Source: Apple.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

If you need reliability when it comes to SMTP servers, get the best, get Port 587.

Get a powerful Linux Dual-Core dedicated server for less than $2.67 a day!

Share on Twitter.


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