In the past few days, Apple users have reported being tricked into visiting a phony website embedded with #malware that freezes their computers. The news first emerged in a report by the cyber security firm Malwarebytes. This is not the first attempt, though. 2016 has been flooded with such scam reports. Tech support scams, customer service scams, corrupted emails, and phony websites are just to name a few. The general approach cyber criminals use is to push fake alerts to scare users into calling for assistance.

The call then leads them to a phony Apple support number who claim to “fix” the system and restore it to normal.

The users are then trapped with infected malware on their Macs, mostly generated by a false email or a redirect to a specially registered scam website.

How it works

The victims are generally Safari users with an older version of Mac running on their systems.

Segura, a Malwarebytes researcher stated that the redirect will take you to a malicious site — called safari-get or safari-serverhost having either .com or .net suffixes. From there it just goes downhill. The sham sites are designed to analyze which version of macOS you're running, then generate a relevant denial-of-service attack to your machine. It will forcefully take you to your Mail application and trigger a series of email drafts that will cause your Mac's memory to be overloaded and induce a system freeze.

The subject line of those emails prompt “Warning! Virus Detected!” and that they should contact the tech support number immediately. This is where you have a choice, do not call, as the support center number is a bogus helpline. A simple forced restart ought to fix the problem.

In some cases, users have reported the malicious software opening the infected computer’s iTunes program multiple times without closing, again to the point where it crashes and displays the tech support number there.

But, according to the report, users of macOS Sierra 10.12.2 have not been affected by the DDoS attack against the mail application. So, it may be best to upgrade your systems to ensure maximum security against these attacks.