It's always the way of digital things: as soon as a technology becomes successful, scammers and criminals line up to exploit it. Current hot development areas for the con artists? Fake free Mac anti-virus solutions and scams aimed at the growing audience on Pinterest.
On a quick visit to Sydney, Bitdefender's Andrei Taflan told Lifehacker that the recent widespread infection by Flashback on Macs had altered the Mac security playing field. While that might have made many Mac owners aware for the first time that their systems are not invulnerable, it has also created a potential audience of people who don't want to pay for security software and thus might be persuaded to install "fake" security software, "Keep an eye on Mac malware. We will see a lot of malware disguised as free anti-virus for Mac," Taflan said.
BitDefender has also seen a rapid growth in scams aimed at Pinterest users. "Interest is Pinterest is very, very high; it's much more friendly in terms of sharing your shopping, for instance. We've seen so many threats for Pinterest advertised on Facebook and Twitter," Taflan said. The next step is an industry in creating and promoting scams across all the social networks."
BitDefender's 2013 update to its security software is scheduled for release in late June. According to Taflan, Australia is currently BitDefender's second-largest market. One of its main marketing activities has been offering free anti-virus subscriptions to customers of Westpac and its subsidiary banks. Taflan said Westpac was now in talks to extend that offer to include Android malware protection, reflecting the growing number of customers accessing banking via their web sites.
The 2013 BitDefender software release will include SafePay, a custom-developed browser designed to block keyloggers and other attempts to steal banking information. SafePay blocks screen capture systems, a tactic exploited by some malware to avoid on-screen keyboards and other security measures.