During the last few months, there has been less news about malware threats affecting Apple users, with a drop in pop-ups that claim a device has been infected and then demanding money to solve the problem.
Recently, however, the high-pressure scams have returned with renewed vigour. According to Paul Ducklin, Senior Technologist at Sophos, scammers are currently following Apple devices like hawks.
Traditionally, con artists who targeted Windows devices at least refrained from using the company’s name, not that it made their activities legal. A new generation of Mac scammers are going much further by claiming to be from Apple’s Support Centre. They steal Apple’s web pages and branding — occasionally even improving the design!
Sophos discovered these scams by opening an infected website that contained more than one scam, including three Apple related ones.
The first one is the aforementioned Support Centre con, which also features an auto-play, computer-generated text-to-voice message with some obvious spelling and grammatical errors.
The second scam involves a pop-up warning, saying: “YOUR SYSTEM IS INFECTED.” Upon clicking on the proceed button, it redirects you to an imitation virus scanner with a message that you should download a third-party Mac utility to solve all your problems.
The last one came in the form of a rather realistic Flash player update request, despite Adobe having skipped Patch Tuesday in October.
Traditionally, Macs have the reputation of being less vulnerable to cyber attacks than Windows PCs, but this might no longer be the case soon. Sophos recommends that all Apple users refrain from clicking on unknown links and stay away from doubtful commercial threat protection software that lures you in with a free scan.