Apple addressed a malware issue that’s been plaguing users and promised a software update fix. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

MacDefender, an Apple-focused malware program, poses as virus software in an attempt to extract personal information from users worried their computer has been infected with a virus.

It also goes by the names MacProtector and MacSecurity.

The presence of MacDefender has raised some questions about how safe Macs are from viruses as they become more popular. In its post, Apple reminds customers that it “provides security updates for the Mac exclusively through Software Update.”

Apple has also come under fire after a report from ZDNet found that some AppleCare representatives had been told not to help customers deal with this malware.

Now, Apple has released its own guide to dealing with the program, and promises to help. “In the coming days, Apple will deliver a Mac OS X software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants,” the company said in a post on its support site. “The update will also help protect users by providing an explicit warning if they download this malware.” 

If you want to remove the malware from your computer before the fix comes, here’s how, courtesy of Apple:

- If the program is open, close the Scan Window

- Launch the Activity Monitor from the Utilities Folder

- Choose “All Processes” from the menu in the upper right corner of the window, look for the name of the app and select it.

- Click the “Quit Process” button in the upper-left hand corner of the window.

- Open your Applications folder, locate the program.

-Drag the program to the trash, empty your trash.

To remove the login item MacDefender installs on your computer, open the “Accounts” section of your System Preferences pane and click the minus button next to the program name.

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