OFFICIAL SECURITY BLOG

We’ve moved! You can now read the latest and greatest on Mac adware and malware at Malwarebytes.

MBAM-Logo-Icon-128 Introducing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac

Posted on July 15th, 2015 at 10:09 AM EDT

As faithful readers will know, my name is Thomas Reed, and I have been the sole owner of The Safe Mac and creator of the anti-adware program AdwareMedic for a few years now.

In March, I was contacted by Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, who expressed interest in the things I had been doing. The timing could not have been better, and I’m pleased to say that AdwareMedic and The Safe Mac are now owned by Malwarebytes, and I’m now the Director of Mac Offerings at Malwarebytes. Given the Malwarebytes philosophy of taking a hard stance against adware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), and their commitment to offering free consumer versions of their products, the fit could not have been any better!

I’m excited to announce that, today, we’re rolling out our flagship Mac product: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac. This is an improved, but still largely familiar, update of AdwareMedic, and it will be free for all consumers. I’m even more excited when I think about plans for the future, which will include rounding out Malwarebytes’ offerings with other Mac products, providing features like efficient real-time protection, anti-exploit protection and enterprise-friendly capabilities.

I think that, together with Malwarebytes, we can make Mac anti-malware software better, and that’s going to be important in the years ahead!

I will also be continuing to write about Mac security issues, as part of a team of other great, award-winning writers, on the Malwarebytes Unpacked blog. Although I won’t be posting new content on The Safe Mac, it won’t be going away; it’s just changing form.

I’m looking forward to working with Malwarebytes to protect and educate Mac users. I hope you’ll join us!

To celebrate the launch of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac, we’re giving away a MacBook Air. You can enter here to win!

85 Comments

info Is downloading from the developer’s site safe?

Posted on June 29th, 2015 at 9:16 AM EDT

You should only download software directly from the site of the developer who created the software. This has been a bit of standard advice given by security people like myself when trying to help people understand what to download and what not to download. It’s good advice, right? Well… mostly, but not entirely, unfortunately.
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34 Comments

adware Genieo changing its name?

Posted on June 19th, 2015 at 9:19 AM EDT

Earlier this month, I wrote about how new variants of the Genieo adware are proliferating. Now, however, it looks like Genieo may be changing its name. A new site, for an app called InKeepr, appears to be poised to take Genieo’s place, perhaps because of all the negative name recognition now associated with the Genieo name.
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28 Comments

warning Multiple vulnerabilities found in Mac OS X

Posted on June 17th, 2015 at 3:30 PM EDT

A group of six researchers at several universities in the US and China published a paper last weekend revealing the details of several different vulnerabilities in Mac OS X. These vulnerabilities all provide ways for a malicious app to gain access to data from another app. Frighteningly, these vulnerabilities can be exploited from a Mac App Store app, and can even allow an attacker to gain access to keychain entries!
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24 Comments

warning Tor Browser false positive

Posted on June 8th, 2015 at 8:07 AM EDT

A reader yesterday brought to my attention that his web browser was alerting him that The Safe Mac is trying to extract HTML5 canvas image data, with a scary-sounding warning that this could be used to identify the computer. Of course, I knew that this site does no such thing. Which left me questioning what browser was making this claim, and why?
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6 Comments

adware Genieo adware proliferating

Posted on June 7th, 2015 at 9:00 AM EDT

In recent months, several new variants of the Genieo adware have crossed my path. This adware is still pulling many of the same tricks – changing the search engine to Bing, and installing all kinds of junk that runs in the background and modifies browser behavior. However, it’s now using a variety of different names, perhaps in an attempt to make detection more difficult.
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31 Comments

Vulnerability could allow malware to change firmware

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 at 11:15 AM EDT

Last Friday, Pedro Vilaca announced the discovery of a vulnerability in the firmware of many Macs that would allow a piece of software to make changes to the firmware. In theory, this makes it possible for malware to permanently infect your Mac, by adding malicious code to the firmware.
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26 Comments

e-biohazard OceanLotus malware attacks China

Posted on May 31st, 2015 at 8:11 AM EDT

On Friday, Chinese security researchers at Qihoo 360’s SkyEye Labs released a paper describing new malware they named OceanLotus. Unfortunately, this paper is written in Chinese, and Google’s far-from-perfect translation of the page is a difficult read. It is clear, however, that there is a Mac variant of this malware.
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4 Comments

adware Time to boycott SourceForge?

Posted on May 30th, 2015 at 9:35 AM EDT

On Wednesday, ArsTechnica reported that the Windows version of the open-source GIMP image editing app hosted on SourceForge has been “seized” by SourceForge and used for distributing adware. This is a troubling development, but not exactly surprising for those who have been following the antics of SourceForge lately. Is it time to boycott SourceForge, as is already recommended for sites like Download.com and Softonic?
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17 Comments

info Staying safe on public wifi

Posted on May 21st, 2015 at 12:54 PM EDT

Everyone has to use public wifi now and then. It is somewhat common knowledge that this is unsafe, but most people aren’t entirely sure what to do about that, other than not visiting sensitive sites, like their bank site. Fortunately, there are some good tricks to keeping your Mac and your data safe on public wifi.
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18 Comments