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Mac Defender mutates past security update

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Mac Defender mutates past security update

The security update published on Wednesday for Mac OS X 10.6.7 contains a quarantine function for the OSX.MacDefender.A malware. A new mutated version that is not detected by the original security update appeared just a few hours later; Apple reacted by adding the new OSX.MacDefender.C to its signatures.

The whack-a-mole game between malware authors and security programmers is heating up. The daily signature updates that Apple has announced are therefore all the more important.

Mac security specialist Intego has discovered a flaw in the security update that The H's associates at heise Security were able to reproduce. Changes made on the "security" tab under System Preferences – where the new option "Automatically update safe downloads list" is located – are not saved if the tab is left open for more than 30 seconds. Users are advised to double check that the new option is actually set.

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