When asked about computer security and virus protection, most people are under the assumption that a Windows computer is expected to be in constant battle against malware and viruses of all kinds, while the Mac is generally safe, allowing users to do or download whatever they wish without any repercussions. Well, this assumption is not only being challenged at this point, but is actively being proven false thanks to the “Mac Defender.”

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macvirusA group of Russian spammers paid hackers 43 cents for each Mac computer infected with a virus, showing that Macs have become a target for the spammers.

Sophos researcher Dmitry Samosseiko explains that this Russian spamming mob,  “The Partnerka,” collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from infecting computers with malware or what he calls “scareware.” A portion of this group is directing their efforts at Macs.

“Mac users are not immune to the scareware threat,” said Samosseiko in the research paper that he released at the Virus Bulletin 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. “In fact, there are ‘codec-partnerka’ dedicated to the sale and promotion of fake Mac software.”

Hackers are offering 43 cents for each malicious install on Macs.

“The growing evidence of financially-motivated criminals looking at Apple Macs as well as Windows as a market for their activities, is not good news — especially as so many Mac users currently have no anti-malware protection in place at all,” said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at U.K-based Sophos, in a blog entry Thursday.

Although rare, Mac threats do exist and should be explored by Apple. Until then, be careful what you click on.

(Via ComputerWorld.com)

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