The MACDefender malware virus, which has been hitting Mac OS X devices in recent weeks, has a new variant that doesn’t require an admin password to be installed on Apple-made machines.
The news comes from antivirus company Intego. In an official blog post, the company said, “Since any user with an administrator's account - the default if there is just one user on a Mac - can install software in the Applications folder, a password is not needed. This package installs an application - the downloader - named avRunner, which then launches automatically. At the same time, the installation package deletes itself from the user's Mac, so no traces of the original installer are left behind.”
MACDefender disguises itself as a piece of antivirus software, leading users to believe they are protecting their computer. Intego says that a new version called MacGuard is also out in the wild, advising Apple users to be extra vigilant.
Apple has said that it is releasing an update for OS X in “the coming days”, which will remove any currently know versions of MACDefender from the operating system. It’s also given advice on how to remove malware manually. It’s unclear if this new variant will be removed as part of Cupertino’s clean up.