Sophos and Avast are rushing to address the growing Mac security problems posed by the Mac Defender trojan and its variants by releasing solutions dedicated to offering an additional layer of protection.
In light of yet another trojan attack hours after Apple had released an important security update, Sophos is stepping up its game with Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition that promises to rid Mac OS X of Mac Defender and its variants.
Commenting on the recent events, Sophos’ Chester Wisniewski wrote on the company’s Naked Security blog: “Considering that XProtect only updates once a day, and only on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, I recommend users install a proper anti-virus tool.”
For those who want to make sure Apple's solution is up to date, a simple Terminal command is offered: /usr/libexec/XProtectUpdater
Still, Wisniewski recommends their free Mac antivirus app.
“Even if I didn't work for a security company, I would install a proper anti-virus tool rather than hope that Apple provides an update every time a new threat appears,” he writes.
“We make our Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition available absolutely free. No registrations, no email, just free protection,” according to Wisniewski.
The Sophos antivirus is free and can be downloaded via the link below.
The folks at Avast are also preparing for the battle. They’ve acknowledged in a recent forum post that “The current popularity of Apple products also makes them more interesting for the bad guys.”
So they’re also offering a free version of their antivirus app for Mac users - "avast! Free Antivirus for Mac”. The app has been almost totally reworked compared with the previous solution for Mac OS X, Avast officials said.
It is unclear whether avast! 1.0 Beta detects the latest iterations of Mac Defender, even though Ondrej Vlcek, CTO of AVAST Software mentions it:
“It‟s time for Mac users to start thinking about an antivirus app and this beta shows what they will need for their protection,” said Vlcek in a press release issued by Avast this week.
“The Mac has long had a ‘cloak of invulnerability’ because its small market share made it a fringe target for malware. As Mac sales surge it is becoming a natural target for malware such as the Pinhead and Boonana Trojans or the MacDefender fake antivirus.”