Macintosh users, welcome to the Internet! The plague of scareware for the PC has reached out to Mac users.
Visitors to the Web site selling the program, called MacSweeper, are offered a free security scan of their computers. The scan, which only works on Macs, highlights supposed security problems with the computers. It offers to remove the problems with the purchase of a US$39.99 lifetime subscription.
Windows users have been targeted in the past with various kinds of scareware, generally getting a dialog that warns that their computer is at high risk. Some of the more recognizable names are Winfixer, also known as ErrorSafe, WinAntiVirus, and Drive Cleaner.
The MacSweeper Web page is hosted on a server in Kiev, Ukraine, said Patrik Runald, security response manager for F-Secure, who is based in Malaysia. Information on the site about MacSweeper's company, Kiwi Software, has been plagiarized from Symantec's Web page, Runald said.
"They just ripped that information straight off there," Runald said.
The same text is also used on Cleanator.com, which sells a Windows-compatible version of the same kind of program, Runald said. Another security vendor, Sophos, classifies Cleanator as a "potentially unwanted program."
Mac users on this forum were both confused and surprised that their OS could be targeted like this. But this is nothing new to millions of PC users.
What do you think? Are Mac users being unfairly targeted? Or is this just part of being connected?
Scareware Program Targets Mac Users (Washingtonpost.com)