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Security firm warns of rogue Mac app

F-Secure is warning Mac users of the presence of the first "rogue application" for OS X, MacSweeper.

The application purports to scan a Mac system for files that can or need to be removed, but as F-Secure notes, "it will always find something to fix/clean but the only way to do so is to buy the program".

Once the software is installed, it will periodically display a popup dialog stating that the computer has been compromised and that the user needs to buy MacSweeper to remove the non-existent files.

The software has also been reported on Apple's Discussion forums, users noting that it exploits JavaScript to have itself automatically downloaded from web pages with "malicious advertising code".

Patrik Runald, a senior security specialist at F-Secure, notes that such threats have plagued Windows users for years and the fact that they have now crossed over reflects the Mac's growing popularity.

"It doesn't mean that Mac is becoming less secure in and of itself," Runald wrote on the F-Secure blog. "But it does mean that Mac users will have to watch out for social engineering tricks just like Windows users have had to do for years."

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