Earned or not, Windows OS usually has a reputation for being less secure than Mac OS X. Mac users have a reputation for being younger, professional, more liberal, more tech-savvy, and even better dressed. But Macs are no more immune to viruses than the human body is during cold and flu season. A new round of blackhat SEO attacks is targeting Mac OS X users, as well as Safari. What do these attacks look like, and how can Mac users avoid them?
The new attacks take the form of fake antivirus program, MAC Defender. This malicious program is delivered through infected websites, thanks to the efforts of blackhat SEOs. These hackers target current events and trending topics, using keyword optimization and other techniques to get their websites on the first page of SERPs. Whenever major world events occur, such as the royal wedding or the death of Osama bin Laden most recently, you can expect blackhat SEOs to infect search results.
This is not usual; however, the targeting of the Mac operating system and Safari is unique because blackhat SEOs have typically left these targets alone, opting to infect Windows with malicious sites. Kaspersky researcher Fabio Assolini says, “Not only Windows users are a target of bad guys that want to distribute rogueware. Now they are also attacking Mac users using the same and old blackhat SEO techniques, poisoning search results in popular search engines.”
A good tipoff. If you aren’t paying attention and miss that, you will be prompted to enter your admin password, which is another red flag to watch for.
Regardless of your OS or browser, maintaining good security and being cautious about websites and links is crucial.