Computers have overrun the world. Everywhere you look, there’s a computer nearby and a computer is likely to be running most of the technologies we now enjoy around us. The cream of the crop is undoubtedly the gadgets made by Apple. Whether in computers or smart phones, iMacs, Macbook pros, iPads, and iPhones are just simply to die for yet not catered to the masses.
Unfortunately, cyber criminals have also leveled up their game and exploits. No matter how much we try to protect our gadgets from these cyber criminals or how much we advocate for improved cybersecurity measures, they still manage to bypass them all and introduce dangerous malware into our systems. Apple computers used to be safe from this malware but not anymore.
Computer security is science, yet it sure seems to traffic in enough beliefs to make it seem like a collection of warring cults. And no matter which infosec church you’re most swayed by, you’re probably one of the many who believe that Macs don’t get malware. Even if you’re not totally on board with this, chances are good you at least behave like Macs are immune.
In fact, the number of malware attacks on Apple’s operating system skyrocketed by 744 percent in 2016. Despite this, most people still believe that Macs don’t get viruses. Add to this the fact that, despite the seeming ubiquity of Apple’s products, the company’s user base is still growing. There are nearly 100 million Apple users worldwide, myself included.
It makes sense that a large user base equals a larger target. To cybercrime rings, Apple users are a beggar’s banquet of trusting, sitting ducks. But McAfee Labs found something really interesting about the malware Mac users are ending up with. It’s coming from the other Mafia of nonconsensual tracking, recording, and surveilling innocent users: the ad industry.
The funny thing is that ads are all over the web right now. Wherever you go, especially on social networking sites, you can see various ads that are specifically targeting you for the product or services they are selling. You may inadvertently click on a certain ad and introduce a harmful malware to your iMac without you knowing. Just imagine how expensive an iMac is, only to be corrupted by a malware that you have no idea on the extent of damage it can cause to your system.
The initial malware package is loaded by a standard phishing attack. The hackers send an email saying that there’s issues with your tax return, with details in a .zip file attached. When you try to open the .zip folder, the malware package instead installs a small executable named AppStore.
That program then runs every time you boot the computer up, until the full malware package has been installed. Once that happens, users will see a fake macOS update page which looks decently close to the real thing. The “update” page sits on top of every other window, and prevents you from using your computer until you hit update.
Once you hit update, you’re prompted to enter your password. That’s where the really nasty stuff starts. Using the administrator privileges just granted, the malware installs dark-web surfing program Tor, and changes your web settings using a developer certificate, so all your web traffic gets routed through a third-party proxy server.
Through this malware, cyber criminals can access data that should normally be secure. What’s even scary is that all your login details for every site you visit can be stolen by the attacker including important banking details for those who do online banking. You may think of antivirus as your first line of protection but that is not the case. Ensuring a strong account security and not trusting any email attachments you receive are your best bet in protecting yourself from these cyber criminals. Hackers will have an even harder time breaking into your precious iMac by equipping all your accounts with a two-factor authentication.
Meanwhile, if you lose data on your iMac regardless of the reasons, https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/mac-data-recovery/ can help you salvage important data you can’t live without. If the problem has to do with your Mac hard drive and you can’t afford to lose it now considering how much you paid for it, https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/mac-hard-drive-recovery/ can help. Remember that ignorance is never an excuse and you only have yourself to blame if you become a victim of this Mac malware.