Video:Notable Mac Viruses and Malware to Look Out Forwith Jon Acosta
Though Macs have a reputation as being impervious to viruses, there is some malware that you should always be on the lookout for. This About.com video will explain what Mac viruses and malware you should be aware of.See Transcript
Transcript:Notable Mac Viruses and Malware to Look Out For
Hi, this is Jon Acosta for About.com, and today we're going to describe some of the most common viruses and malware that can affect your Mac running OS X, as well as a few tips on how to avoid them.
Mac Viruses: Flashback Trojan
What types of viruses are out there? Some of the most common virus threats that exist on the Mac platform today are usually contracted from fake plug-ins and add-ons that a user willingly installs onto their system without knowing that it's a malicious piece of software.
The most recent notable threat takes the form of an update from Adobe for their widely used Flash Player plug-in. This threat is called the "Flashback Trojan." Other forms of this virus have taken shape on random malicious sites that ask for visitors to download a specific plug-in in order to see that website's content. Once installed by the user, this malware will collect sensitive information such as usernames and passwords that are stored on the Mac.
Another virus to be aware of on the Mac OS X platform is the "OSX/MacDefender" (also called "MacSecurity") malware that shows up most notably in Google image searches. This virus warns you that your computer is unprotected and vulnerable to malicious software. Once installed, MacDefender exposes your personal information to hackers and other third parties.
Mac Viruses: OpinionSpy
OpinionSpy is a spyware that attaches itself to free Mac applications from websites like VersionTracker.com and MacUpdate.com. The virus usually connects itself to a list of different applications as well as screen savers. Once the newly downloaded item is installed, OpinionSpy exclaims that a virus has been detected and prompts users to install a "malware detector" software in order to get rid of the threat. This malware buries itself deep within the root of your Mac's operating system and exposes a backdoor for hackers and unauthorized users to access sensitive information on your computer.
Macs Check for Updates
Although these threats can be rather scary to think about, and even scarier if you fall victim to one of them, there are a few best practices that you can take in order to fend off the bad guys and keep your Mac in good shape. By default, your computer is set to check for updates on a weekly basis through Apple's "Software Updates" tool. The updates are sent directly from Apple and consist of security, firmware, and device driver updates, which keep your system running smoothly and immune to most of the common threats against your Mac.
How to Check for Updates
If you sense that your computer is infected or would like to manually check for recent updates, just click on the Apple icon in the menu bar in the top left corner. Scroll down and click on the second option titled, "Software Updates...". Your system will check for any updates currently being offered from Apple. Click "Install" in the bottom right corner. If there are any security device driver updates, your system will prompt you for an administrator's username and password, just to make sure the user making these changes is
Antivirus Apps for Macs
Another best practice for protecting your Mac is to only download software from the official Apple App Store. This store is designed by Apple and every app in its database goes through a verification process before being submitted to the public for download. To access the App Store, just navigate down to your Dock on the bottom of your screen and click on the blue icon entitled "App Store".
An excellent solution for scanning your mac is by using the free app iAntivirus, created by Norton, the Award-winning antivirus company. Complete with a super clean interface, this free app allows you to seamlessly scan your system for any possible malware threats. And, of course, you can download it from the Apple App Store.
Using these methods will keep your Mac running smooth and help protect against any of the recent viruses currently floating around on the internet. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.