MacGuard variant hits less than 12 hours after Apple patches Mac Defender

New Mac malware strikes

Less than twelve hours after Apple’s belated move to help users get rid of the Mac Defender virus, a more dangerous variant of the malware – MacGuard – has been reported.

The new variant was detected by Mac security company Intego, which warns that unlike Mac Defender, MacGuard doesn’t require the user to enter a password in order for the software to install itself on a system.

Like its predecessor, the goal of the program is to trick the user in to entering their credit card details, and apparently uses the same tactic of opening pornographic webpages every few minutes as incentive to do so.

However, this version apparently utilises an option in the Safari browser, which ensures that ‘safe’ files are opened immediately after download, ensuring that the installation process is started without any checks by the user.

Interestingly, this variant is most dangerous to Mac users using the Safari browser. Apple currently holds 9.5 per cent of the global PC market and Safari comprises just 7.2 per cent of browser usage, suggesting that these instances of malware are specifically targeted at Apple and its products.

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