I can tell you for a fact, many, many people are falling for this attack. Our call volume here at AppleCare is 4-5x higher than normal and [the overwhelming majority] of our calls are about this Mac Defender and its aliases. Many frustrated Mac users think their Mac is impervious to viruses and think this is a real warning from Apple. I really wish I could say not many people will fall for this, but in this last week, we have had nothing but Mac Defender and similar calls.
EB: Yes, there must have been a point where you noticed that a lot of people were dealing with this Mac Defender thing and that it wasnít just your calls.
AC: We have a team of people who go though all case notes and find new issues that are popping up a lot and send notices to all of AppleCare. Our notice for Mac Defender is that weíre not supposed to help customers remove malware from their computer.
AC: Thatís about what i said when I read it. The reason for the rule, they say, is that even though Mac Defender is easy to remove, we canít set the expectation to customers that we will be able to remove all malware in the future. Thatís what antivirus is for.
EB: What sort of advice do you leave customers with after youíve helped them with this issue?
AC: That even though theyíre using a Mac, they need antivirus/antimalware
. We give them links to Norton. McAfee, and Sophos. Removing Mac Defender is easy, but if it ends up like malware for Windows, weíre going to have a lot of unhappy customers, which is bad for the advisors. If our customers arenít happy, our pay goes down.