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Apple sends fix for Mac 'scareware'

Apple made good on its promise this week with a fix for the Mac Defender "scareware."

I'm a little slow on this follow up, but Apple made good on its promise this week with a fix for the Mac Defender Trojan horse - appropriately labeled "scareware" in this ComputerWorld piece published Tuesday:

Apple today released an update for Snow Leopard that warns users that they've downloaded fake Mac security software and claims to scrub machines already infected with the so-called "scareware."

Chet Wisniewski, a security researcher with U.K.-based Sophos, confirmed that the update alerts users when they try to download any of the bogus MacDefender antivirus software.

Wisniewski had not yet tested the malware cleaning functionality of the update, but was confident that it would work.

"It's reasonably trivial to remove MacDefender," said Wisniewski, using the name for a growing family of scareware. "It's not burying itself in the system, not compared to some of some of the crap that we see on Windows."

It remains to be seen whether this is a rare, isolated incident or the beginning, as some have argued, of a wave of malware attacks on the historically highly resistant Apple operating systems. Apple's quick and public response was one clue that it takes the potential of a surge in threats very seriously.  Another comes in the Apple security update itself - click here for a description and links - that says it will check daily for malware-definition updates.