For those who dont know or havent heard, in the last month Macintosh computers have been attacked by a fake security program.
Generally, fake or “rogue” security programs and warning popups are not harmful to the computer because their creators are looking to convince you to give up your credit card numbers in exchange for the fake security program fixing whatever it said was wrong.
These types of programs attempt to scare unsuspecting people into giving up their credit card numbers; for this reason, they are called “scareware” or “crimeware”.
For a long time, Macintoshs have been malware (MALicious softWARE) free. The term malware is meant to encompass both “viruses” and “spyware” (the two most prevalent types of malicious software).
The people who create viruses and spyware have long felt it was not an efficient money-making move to create malware for the Mac OS, because it is harder to do than for Windows.
This new rogue program is the first one gain wide attention since OS X has been released, and has at least three different names, one of which is Mac Defender.
I am not to mention all of the various names this program has, because names are not important to this discussion.
The way to defend yourself against this type of threat (regardless of its name) is to NEVER give your administrative password to any program you dont recognize. If you didnt download it or put its disc into the disc drive, do not install it; drag it to the Trash Can.
So, after all of that, what do we know?
1) Macs are harder to virus than a Windows machine, but just as easy to scareware.
2) This attack is NOT a virus, but rather a clever con job that attempts to fool unwary people.
3) If you are not installing a program, and a pop-up asks for your admin password, do not give it out.
Ok, then; whats the answer to the lead-in question?
The answer is No, this is not the Apocalypse. (Unless it is already 6 pm EDT, Sat. May 21, 2011 where you live)
But, and this is a big but, this IS the opening salvo in what could be flood of new malware for the Mac.
Lets all be careful out there.