Recommend Mac spyware removal software

I recently purchased a Mac Pro, but I’m getting occasional pop-ups. I know some software for the PC (Spybot Search&Destroy, etc.) but I don’t know any reliable ones for Mac.

Anyone out there got any to recommend?

Pop-ups on the Mac aren’t spyware or malware, so don’t worry about that; nothing’s getting installed on your computer.

If you’re using Safari as your default browser, just go to the Safari menu and “block pop-up windows.” That should take care of most of it.

The other plug-in you might try is PithHelmet. It works great, but be sure it works with the latest version of Safari you’re using. It doesn’t get updated as often as Safari does.

There is no spyware removal software for Macs, because there is essentially no spyware that targets Mac OS X.

Pop-ups are not especially indicative of the presence of spyware, in any case. If you are getting pop-ups, perhaps they are coming from the websites you’re visiting? If you are using the Safari browser, make sure that “Block Pop-Up Windows” is checked in the “Safari” menu.

Pop-ups are blocked in Safari, but I still get some pop-ups, including the new(ish) one, which shuts down all Safari windows and tabs, and leaves me with the ad “offering” free virus scans. This one has popped up at least 6 but no more than 10 times in the last month.

Mostly I see pop-ups from Netflix and The Review, and Apple is powerless to stop them.

FWIW, I have 3 years of AppleCare, so I can always just call them if it increases, but for now its just annoying. It took me a couple of years to find the right stuff to block spyware, pop-ups, adware, etc. on my PCs (I even helped Microsoft with a part of Defender, years ago), and I wasn’t sure if what I’m experiencing with my Mac was par for the course, or if something wasn’t being done correctly.

I guess I’ll just have to put up with it, and keep calling Apple to bug them to fix it so when I check “Block Pop-Ups” it blocks ALL pop-ups. It worked with Microsoft, maybe i’ll work with Apple, too.

You might try Firefox - you can find pop-up blocking plug-ins that are fairly aggressive.

It’s kind of amusing to run across one of these “free virus scan” web sites and then watch it find all sorts of viruses and malware in the installed version of Windows. That’s a pretty neat trick considering that I’m surfing the web with a PPC Mac running Mac OS X.

I’ve been running PithHelmet for years, and I love it. It blocks all the ad shit on SDMB, too!

Another plug for PithHelmet. I’ve had to go without on one or two occasions when I updated Safari or OS X before he’d had a chance to update PH. Man, did I miss it. I’ve put off updates waiting for a new version so I don’t have to deal with flashing, popup, music playing annoyances. The drawback is that it can be too aggressive with some content, so I sometimes have to reload unfiltered. I’d rather that than an ambush though.

These browser hijacks are annoying but usually harmless in themselves - however they will often point you at sites that then try to download malware. A quick google suggests that is probably trying to con you into installing a trojan-laden dollop of poo called ‘Antivirus 2009 Protection’.

Given the perpetual arms race that exists between the major browsers and the malware pushers, this situation is never going to go away - you’re better off putting your energy into keeping your browser and plug-ins current, and trying to figure out which sites are pushing the hi-jack code at you so you can stop visiting them.

*Threats to Mac OS X
Since we initially published this FAQ, the number of new security threats to Mac OS X have grown:

The “Month of Apple Bugs” (MOAB) project has identified numerous security exposures in both Mac OS X and third-party software for such. Many of the identified vulnerabilities have corresponding Secunia Advisories. While Secunia has assessed the impact of many of these vulnerabilities as “Not Critical,” several are considered “Highly Critical.” At the time of this writing, fixes have been released by both Apple and third-party developers for some of the Highly Critical vulnerabilities. Accordingly:
Assure your software is up-to-date.
Disable any option to “Open safe files after downloading” in your Web browser. In Safari™, this option is found in the General tab of Safari’s Preferences.
The OSX.Macarena virus, while considered low-risk and a “proof of concept” endeavor, is another indication of the efforts of some to produce a destructive Mac OS X virus. Related comments about this virus on the Symantec® Security Response Weblog are interesting.
The Sony® Digital Rights Management (DRM) debacle affects Mac OS X, installing kernel extensions even if you decline to accept the license agreement. This software is both a rootkit and spyware.
Worms and Trojan horses targeting Mac OS X and have emerged, including: *

How does the identification of various (patched) security issues in OS X contradict what I said?

"Worms and Trojan horses targeting Mac OS X and have emerged, including: "

Absolute “because there is essentially no spyware that targets Mac OS X”

I do not think the existence of five proof-of-concept worms and trojan horses relying on long-patched security vulnerabilities makes my statement false. None of those things have made it into the wild.

Read my cite:

*OSX.Exploit.Launchd, a Trojan horse released as a proof-of-concept that exploits a security exposure in Mac OS X 10.4 through 10.4.6.
OSX.Inqtana.A, which propagates via Bluetooth®.
OSX.Leap.A deletes, infects, or corrupts files and attempts to spread through iChat.
SH.Renepo.A / SH.Renepo.B, aka Opener, is a rootkit that can disable the Mac OS X firewall, steal personal information, destroy data, and replicate itself to other systems on your network. That SH.Renepo can replicate itself to other systems on your network by copying itself to any mounted drive, including shared volumes, may explain why Symantec characterizes this threat as a virus while the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) defines it as a Macintosh worm.
MacOS.MW2004.Trojan, a nasty bit of malware that masquerades as a Microsoft® Word 2004 installer that erases the infected users Home folder and potentially more. *

You might as well be worried about catching smallpox.
All of these are just laboratory curiosities, exploiting long-patch vulnerabilities.
And, they were never wide-spread (or even released) in the wild.

Yes, as I stated - five proof-of-concept worms and trojans relying on long-patched security vulnerabilities. According to your own cite, none of those made it beyond 50 infected machines.