Learn how the Mac Defender rogue antivirus infects Mac OS X machines and use efficient instructions tailored to assist in removing this malicious application.
The infamously legendary Mac Defender is one of the programs which proved that Mac OS isn’t invulnerable to virus attacks at all. The very first contamination instances were noticed in 2011 and, interestingly enough, this malware is still around. That’s perhaps due to the intricate proliferation and activity model it adopts, so let’s start out by highlighting the basic spreading features of the virus under consideration. The compromising of Mac machines in this case has got quite a bit of a social engineering component in it. Like it used to be, potential victims are tricked into installing Mac Defender mainly through search engine results poisoning. Most frequently, users catch the bug when browsing to online images platforms. Some search results in there redirect to a landing page that mimics a scan of the computer – note the word “mimics” as this isn’t a genuine scan. Nevertheless, a lot of users end up falling for this trick and click on the recommended fix button, which is a direct path into malware infestation.
Having gotten into the Mac box through the tactic described above, Mac Defender makes some significant changes to the system. In particular, it gets added to the Login Items list, which means that the bad code is going to be executed every time the computer starts up and the user logs in. This fake AV program is physically located in the Applications folder, and its process can be viewed in the Activity Monitor. That’s the system level stuff. What happens on the outside is Mac Defender reports viruses, worms, Trojans and other nasty items like that.
The rogue application also keeps running its dummy scans off and on. These have nothing to do with actually checking your Mac for malware, so they return pre-coded results. The security status based on those phony scan reports is displayed in the Control Center screen.
The ultimate goal of this activity is to intimidate the victim into clicking that Register button and handing over the credit card details to upgrade the product version to premium. Doing so is allegedly going to clean up the system from all of the purported threats that got reported. Well, this is something you should never do, because it simply makes no sense.
Another possible consequence of Mac Defender running on the machine is private information harvesting it can deploy, so any stored confidential data is potentially at risk. Some users also report browser redirects to adult sites accompanying the infection. All in all, there are plenty of reasons to adopt immediate measures and remove this rogue security tool from the targeted Mac.
Mac Defender manual removal for Mac
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this threat. Be sure to follow the instructions in the order specified.
• Open up the Utilities folder as shown below
• Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it
• Under Activity Monitor, find the entry for MacDefender, select it and click Quit Process
• A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the Mac Defender executable. Select the Force Quit option
• Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the Mac Defender entry on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If the user password is required, enter it
• Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option
• Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. Mac OS will come up with the list of the items that launch when the box is started up. Locate MacDefender there, click on the “-“ button
Prevent browser redirects caused by Mac Defender
Settings for the web browser that got hit by Mac Defender virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:
1. Reset Safari
• Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Reset Safari in the drop-down list
• Make sure all the boxes are ticked on the interface and hit Reset
2. Reset Google Chrome
• Open Chrome and click the Customize and Control Google Chrome menu icon
• Select Options for a new window to appear
• Select Under the Hood tab, then click Reset to defaults button
3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
• Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
• On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Get rid of Mac Defender virus using Freshmac automatic removal tool
When confronted with malicious code like the Mac Defender on Mac, you can neutralize its toxic impact by leveraging a specially crafted system utility. The Freshmac application (read review) is a perfect match for this purpose as it delivers essential security features along with must-have modules for Mac optimization.
This tool cleans unneeded applications and persistent malware in one click. It also protects your privacy by eliminating tracking cookies, frees up disk space, and manages startup apps to decrease boot time. On top of that, it boasts 24/7 tech support. The following steps will walk you through automatic removal of the Mac Defender infection.
1. Download Freshmac installer onto your machine. Double-click the Freshmac.pkg file to trigger the installer window, select the destination disk and click Continue. The system will display a dialog asking for your password to authorize the setup. Type the password and click Install Software.
2. Once the installation has been completed, Freshmac will automatically start a scan consisting of 5 steps. It scans cache, logs, unused languages, trash, and checks the Mac for privacy issues.
3. The scan report will then display your current system health status and the number of issues detected for each of the above categories. Click the Fix Safely button to remove junk files and address privacy issues spotted during the scan.
4. Check whether the Mac Defender virus has been fixed. If the lock screen is still there, go to the Uninstaller option on Freshmac GUI. Locate an entry that appears suspicious, select it and click Fix Safely button to force-uninstall the unwanted application.
5. Go to Temp and Startup Apps panes on the interface and have all redundant or suspicious items eliminated as well. The Mac Defender fraud shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.