First of all, to coin a phrase from Douglas Adams: “Don’t Panic!”.
As they say, there is a first time for everything and I have just had my first infected MacBook! Yes, that’s right, Macs can be infected even though a lot of people seem to think otherwise.
There is an infection going around called one of the following:
MacShield, MacDefender, MacProtector, MacGuard
If you are on the latest version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard 10.6, and automatically update then you should be protected from this. If you are on 10.5 or earlier then watch out!
Note: To check version, Click on Apple symbol top left and select About this Mac.
Mac Shield gets into your computer by stealth, you are persuaded to click on a button on a website that downloads and installs it automatically. It then puts the fear of God into you suggesting that there are multiple infections on your Mac and that the only way to deal with them is to buy Mac Shield!
Don’t Do It!
My recommendations are:
1. If you are on OS X 10.6 then make sure you are up to date with software updates. Apple has released an update “Security Update 2011-003” for 10.6 to protect you from this and other infections. You can check if this is installed by going to System Preferences>Software Update>Installed Updates. Make sure updating is set to automatic whilst you are there!
2. If you are on 10.5 or earlier, if possible I suggest you upgrade to 10.6 (you need an Intel based Mac for this). Apple have in fact just released OS X Lion (version 10.7) so if your Mac is compatible then upgrade to this. If you are still on OS X 10.5 and can’t upgrade to 10.6 or 10.7 due to hardware issues then you need an anti-virus application installed (see below).
3. Install an anti-virus program. So far I have tested ClamXav which is free version (but requests donations) and it seems to run OK, though it takes a little configuration to get it right. I used this on the infected Mac to remove any residual infections. There are of course others.
Now, if you are already infected then you can either download and install ClamXav or you can contact me! ClamXav should be able to remove everything related to Mac Shield.
Any further questions, you know what to do: contact us!