How to Remove Mac Defender

What is Mac Defender?
A phishing scam has targeted Mac users by redirecting them from legitimate websites to fake websites which tell them that their computer is infected with a virus. The user is then offered Mac Defender “anti-virus” software to solve the issue.

This “anti-virus” software is malware (i.e. malicious software). Its ultimate goal is to get the user’s credit card information which may be used for fraudulent purposes.

The most common names for this malware are MacDefender, MacProtector and MacSecurity.

How to remove Mac Defender?
If the malware has been installed, we recommend the following actions:

  1. Move or close the Scan Window.
  2. Go to the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and launch Activity Monitor.
  3. Choose All Processes from the pop up menu in the upper right corner of the window.
  4. Under the Process Name column, look for the name of the app and click to select it; common app names include: MacDefender, MacSecurity or MacProtector.
  5. Click the Quit Process button in the upper left corner of the window and select Quit.
  6. Quit Activity Monitor application.
  7. Open the Applications folder.
  8. Locate the app ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector or other name.
  9. Drag to Trash, and empty Trash.

Malware also installs a login item in your account in System Preferences. Removal of the login item is not necessary, but you can remove it by following the steps below.

  • Open System Preferences, select Accounts, then Login Items
  • Select the name of the app you removed in the steps above ex. MacDefender, MacSecurity, MacProtector
  • Click the minus button 

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