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(Pocket-lint) - There's an old wive's tale in the tech world that Apple Mac machines aren't susceptible to the cyber nasties that blight their Windows nemesis.

In fact, the official Mac OS X security page states: "Mac OS X doesn’t get PC viruses. And its built-in defences help keep you safe from other malware without the hassle of constant alerts and sweeps."

Hmmm. Not as safe as it'd like though evidently as the Cupertino giant has now come clean and admitted that many of its users have been affected in the Mac Defender phishing scam - a scam it reportedly told support staff not to talk about to users last week.

Apple has now posted a guide to avoiding and removing the rogue software - which also goes by the name of MacProtector and MacSecurity - whose ultimate aim is to nab fanboy's credit card details.

The guide also states that "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" and the "the update will also help protect users by providing an explicit warning if they download this malware".

Along with the removal guide this is quite an efficient, if somewhat delayed, response from Infinite Loop.

But we think that this can put to bed any suggestion that Macs are safe from online baddies. Just like a night out in Romford*, the web is full as nasty surprises, disguised as treats, and it always pays to use protection.

The guide can be found over on Apple's support pages.

*This writer lives within earshot of the famous Time & Envy bells, so is entitled to this low effort regional stereotyping.

Writing by Paul Lamkin.