Mac users hit with fake anti-virus when using Google image search


A massive SEO poisoning attack has hit Google, targeting Windows and Mac users alike. From rather innocuous terms related to global warming, to hot topics like Osama bin Laden’s death, users are being hit with fake anti-virus programs, this time delivering payloads to users of Apple’s Mac OS X.

JavaScript Fake AV scannerStrangely when surfing to the compromised URLs you are first prompted with a JavaScript-based fake scanner that appears to show an infected Windows XP computer, even when surfing from a Mac.

When you click or close the fake scanner page you are prompted to download a .zip file onto your Mac with a filename like “”.

Some of the downloads are a package installer that installs the fake software; others simply a contain ready-to-run Mac application.

Fake AV for Mac installer/download

In a similar social engineering trick as we have seen in Windows fake scanners it borrows it’s name from a legitimate website, MacDefender.

The scanner doesn’t actually touch the hard disk while “scanning”, although on a Mac it can be hard to know without a hard disk light.

It pretends to find some very important things that may have been compromised, such as the Terminal application and the standard Unix utility test, also known to Unix shell programmers as [.

Mac fake scan results

Credit card at risk warningIt uses a lot of social engineering including redirecting your browser to rather offensive porn sites, although it does not appear they are doing this to make money, simply to imply that you are infected.

It also uses scare tactics like your credit card data being at risk. The reality is that your credit card is only at risk if you actually try to purchase the fake software.

Buy fake Mac AV

Sophos customers using the Sophos Web Security Appliance and Sophos Live protection are protected against these threats.

Mac users with Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac are protected by the identities OSX/FakeAVZp-B and OSX/FakeAV-DMP. Windows users are protected against the Windows version known as Mal/FakeAV-FS.

Are you a Mac user? Why not download our free anti-virus for Mac OS X?