Scareware Program Targets Mac Users
The same tried-and-true social engineering tactics traditionally wielded against Windows users to frighten people into buying bogus security software are now being employed to target Mac users. Security experts say the curators of macsweeper.com warn visitors that their machine is full of threats to the user's privacy, and that he or she needs to pay for a $39.99 software license to remove the bogus threats.
Anti-virus maker F-Secure says the MacSweeper site, which is based in Ukraine, has all the features of a scareware scam, including a company boilerplate message lifted entirely from Symantec's corporate Web site. The MacSweeper home page is riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes. Take this gem:
"The imbibed set of features locates all the junk and useless data on your computer and deletes them to reclaim the wasted space. It also removes all the unwanted references stored on your computer and makes it run like a new Mac."
A quick search on the support forum at Apple.com suggests that some Mac users have been driven to the MacSweeper site by ads that redirect visitors to the company's homepage.
Regardless of which operating system you use, here's a good rule of thumb for applications: If you didn't go looking for it, don't install it. Never install anything that uses these types of scare tactics. And try to do as much basic research on a program as you can before installing it.
Posted by: TJ | January 15, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tim | January 15, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mackenzie | January 16, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AngelO. | January 21, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.