How to Remove Mac Defender Virus

Posted by Mayank on July 26, 2012 in Mac

Mac users got affected by a recent phishing scam, which redirects Mac users from legitimate websites to fake websites, which claim that their computer is infected with a virus. The fake websites also offers Mac Defender “anti-virus” software to solve the issue.

Unless you realized it, this “anti-virus” software is malware (i.e. malicious software). Its ultimate goal is to get the user’s credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes. If you’ve been avoiding it till now – goodness has prevailed. If not, you’re one of those unlucky ones, whose identity is at risk.

Apple released a free software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants. If you’ve not already done so, please download the same : Security Update 2011-003. If your computer is still affected, please follow the step by step procedure outlined below to remove Mac Defender virus.

How to Remove Mac Defender Virus:

Do not provide your credit card information under any circumstances. If already provided, please block your credit card and request a new one to be issued to you. Else you can also request your credit limit of the particular credit card be decreased.

Removal steps

  1. Move or close the Scan Window.
  2. Go to the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and launch Activity Monitor.
  3. Choose All Processes from the pop up menu in the upper right corner of the window.
  4. Under the Process Name column, look for the name of the app and click to select it; common app names include: MacDefender, Mac Defender.
  5. Click the Quit Process button in the upper left corner of the window and select Quit.
  6. Quit Activity Monitor application.
  7. Open the Applications folder.
  8. Locate the app named MacDefender or Mac Defender.
  9. Drag to Trash, and empty Trash.

MacDefender malware also installs a login item in your account in System Preferences. Removal of the login item is not necessary, but you can remove it by following the steps below.

  • Open System Preferences, select Accounts, then Login Items
  • Select the name of the app : MacDefender or Mac Defender
  • Click the minus button

If you’ve not yet installed this virus, goodness has prevailed! You can use the below steps to avoid installing MacDefender virus:

How to avoid installing Mac Defender malware

If any notifications about viruses or security software appear, quit Safari or any other browser that you are using. If a normal attempt at quitting the browser doesn’t work, then Force Quit the browser.

In some cases, your browser may automatically download and launch the installer for this malicious software.  If this happens, cancel the installation process; do not enter your administrator password.  Delete the installer immediately using the steps below.

  1. Go into the Downloads folder, or your preferred download location.
  2. Drag the installer to the Trash.
  3. Empty the Trash.

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