More and more people are being infected by Adware lately, especially since its creators have now expanded into the Apple universe. Adware is basically software that gets installed on your computer’s browser. In the best case scenario it causes endless popup menus to show up on every page that you open; in the worst case you are unable to browse the internet. This type of malware is often packaged together with other software installers. So if you notice that you are suddenly being bombarded with unwanted advertising and pop windows you were likely infected by software that you recently installed sometimes inadvertently.
Since Adware is not officially malware, most virus removal tools can’t detect and remove it. Luckily people have devised ways to remove it. I recently became infected with Downlite adware on a Macbook Pro and a Macbook Air and this is my story.
Kaspersky’s co-founder and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, recently told CBR that the recent wave of malware outbreaks on Apple computers is likely only the beginning. He expects the Mac OS to be increasingly targeted by cyber criminals in the future because of the increased number of computers being sold as well as a result of Apple not paying as much attention to security as they should. He goes on to say that Microsoft which began to be attacked seriously about 10 years ago has learned to adapt its cycle of software and security updates and is therefore able to pro-actively deal with vulnerabilities as soon as they are identified. Apple, on the other hand, has not had to deal with security issues and is therefore slow to react. For example they were criticized by many experts because of their slow response to the recent FlashbackTrojan virus which left users vulnerable to attack for three months. Cupertino does seem to be conscious of the threat as the next version of its operating system due out this summer, will include a Gatekeeper feature that will make it more difficult for infected software to be installed on Mac’s. In its most secure setting, it will restrict applications from running unless they are from the Mac App store or from registered developers. This feature which has been considered by some as too restrictive will likely be turned off by most users leaving them open to attack. It is clear that Apple will have to start paying more attention to security in the future if it hopes to gain the trust of its users.