We've seen these kinds of fake security applications floating around Windows-land, using clever social engineering lures to trick computer users into buying malware to clean malware that never existed in the first place.
Now, the "scareware" authors have set eyes on Mac OS X users, confirming fears that Apple's platform has reached the market-share tipping point that makes it a lucrative enough target.
According to virus trackers at F-Secure, the newest Mac malware discovery -- called MacSweeper -- claims to clean your Mac from compromising files and it will always find something to fix/clean but the only way to do so is to buy the program.
If a user is scared into running a scan, it randomly shows a pop-up warning window with so-called "privacy violations" and a "Remove Now" icon to buy the fake cleaner.
As F-Secure's Patrik Runald explains, there are signs everywhere that this is fake:
"Even more telling that it's a scam is the fact that when you visit the MacSweeper Web site with a PC and click on "Scan", it will tell you that you have security vulnerabilities in folders that only exist on Mac like system_root/home."
Even so, the latest Mac malware sightings should be a wake-up call for Mac users unaccustomed to dealing with security annoyances.
"It means that with Mac's growing popularity and growing user base comes certain problems that can't be ignored. Mac users will increasingly come under attack from bad guys and this new rogue application and the constant stream of new variants of DNSChanger is proof of that. It doesn't mean that Mac is becoming less secure in and of itself. But it does mean that Mac users will have to watch out for social engineering tricks just like Windows users have had to do for years."
See more at Techmeme.
* Image via Newlaunches.com.