Apple kills MacDefender malware with OSX update

Apple has released a rare single-issue security update to combat the MacDefender Fake AV phishing scam which has been causing concern amongst Mac users, not to mention a heightened level of smugness from Applephobes.

The trojan malware, which commonly attached itself to image downloads and used common social engineering techniques to fool unwitting Macolytes into exposing their credit card details whilst buying bogus anti-virus software, has been met head-on by the off-schedule security update.

Weighing in at a slim 2.1 MB, Security Update 2011-003 installs a tool which finds and deletes existing infections, and adds all known variants of the MacDefender malware to Apple's internal virus-scanning File Quarantine software.

For the first time as far as we know Apple has also added a mechanism which makes daily scans and automatically adds virus definitions of new variants of the malware to File Quarantine.

The security update, which is pretty much essential for anyone using OSX Snow Leopard, can be downloaded direct from Apple or installed automatically using Software Update under the Apple Menu.

Most users won't notice anything untoward as the update does not require a restart to install unless an infection is found.