The new MacDefender malware for OS X is scam software that is distributed as a Trojan horse to try to trick Mac users into installing it and then providing credit card and other personal information to the scammers. The program is not a virus, and runs just as you would install any utility, application, or system add-on. The only difference between this and legitimate programs is that this one was built to trick you into giving up personal information.
When the program was initially released, Apple did not immediately respond, and numerous Mac and technology Web sites covered how to remove it if you inadvertently installed it on your system. Likely because of the sheer volume of concern surrounding this malware, Apple today officially acknowledged the scam threat and released a knowledgebase article that outlines how to remove it.
The steps do not differ from our previous coverage on this malware and how to remove and avoid it, but it is good to see Apple tackling this issue for users. Unfortunately this threat does not circumvent the security options in OS X, and instead rides along as any normal application would do. Therefore, there is little Apple can do to prevent users from installing it, and can only offer a warning.