Mac, beware of virus: in 2018 millions of users infected

A virus for the OS X operating system is among the ten most downloaded in the world. It is a fake antivirus program that asks users for money

One of the few certainties in life is that Mac computers are safe from viruses and malware. The closed system built by Apple that allows you to install applications only from the App Store and a few other sources, shields Macs from cyber attacks and viruses. Unfortunately, even this certainty had to face the sad reality: in the latest Internet Security Report published by Watchguard, a company expert in computer security, a virus for OS X operating system occupies one of the top ten positions.

It has been several years since a malware developed for Apple operating systems entered the ranking of the most downloaded viruses. Hackers have managed to develop a software capable of overcoming Mac defense systems and infecting Apple computers. The program in question is MAC.OSX.AMCleanerCA and it occupies the sixth position among the most downloaded viruses in 2018. The virus is a member of the scamware family: these are special malware that show fake antivirus analysis and advise the user to purchase a program to eliminate all traces of viruses. In reality, the software that you install takes over your PC and is able to steal all personal data of users.

MAC.OSX.AMCleanerCA, the Mac virus that steals users' money

The virus has been developed in two quite different versions between them: the first one is almost harmless and shows only an HTML page that alerts the user about the malware inside your PC, while the second one is the actual program. If you run the second version of the malware, it will display a fake malware analysis on the screen that will alert you. In order to eliminate viruses, MAC.OSX.AMCleanerCA suggests the user to click on a link and install an antivirus program that will clean up the Mac. The software that is installed is actually a malware that can evade the Mac's defense systems and take control of the PC.

But that's not all. When activating the program for the first time, a message appears on the screen inviting users to call 800-1234567 to get the free activation code. Doing a quick research  it turns out that the number is used for online scams. By following the instructions of the phone operator we will lose control of the PC and all the data inside. In some cases you are also asked to pay a fee to activate the premium version of the program. In addition to losing money, you also risk giving hackers important data such as email and online banking credentials.

How to protect yourself against MAC.OSX.AMCleanerCA

Always be wary of free programs that you find in forums or on unreliable sites. If you want to download antivirus software, go to safe sources such as the Mac Store, where you can also find free programs.

Also, in the case of the virus MAC.OSX.AMCleanerCA you only had to do a quick online search to understand that it was a scam. Before installing a software of dubious origin, inform yourself on official channels, you will find an answer to all your doubts.