The glory days of Apple being free of viruses and malware are now a remnant of the past. This week we report on recent Mac OS X malware vulnerabilities and some tech device spring cleaning tips.
Ransomware on the Rise
TechCrunch reports Apple has shut down “KeRanger,” the first fully-functional ransomware designed specifically to target Mac computers. Ransomware is a cyber threat where malware encrypts your personal computer and subsequently terminates your access. The only way to regain autonomy of your computer is to meet whatever demands are made by the malicious hacker behind the ransomware. Usually, to get your computer back, you pay a ransom in bitcoin, and only then can you retrieve control of your precious computer.
Palo Alto Networks, the company who reported the KeRanger ransomware, also indicated that Apple has revoked the abused certificate involved in the attack. Furthermore, Apple updated its anti-malware system XProtect to protect customers. Palo Alto Networks detailed that the attackers infected an open source BitTorrent client, Transmission, with the malware that would immediately encrypt the computer and demand a ransom.
If you are worried about the security of your Mac after reading about KeRanger, immediately update your Apple’s malware profiles via XProtect. Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the abused certificate involved with KeRanger has been pulled, so no one else can install the affected application. If you want to know a bit more directly from Apple about Mac OS X security, read all about it here.
Now more than ever, it is important to be as safe as possible with your technology and digital information as ransomware and identity theft are on the rise. Recently, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was forced to pay a ransom equivalent to $17,000 bitcoin to take back their servers from hackers.
Adobe this week also reported another critical Flash vulnerability that can allow an attacker to take control of your Mac. Adobe has released a security update to address the vulnerability, and you can update your version of Flash by visiting Adobe’s update page.
Now that we have covered how to keep the innards of your Mac safe, we have a few tips on how to keep the exterior clean.
With spring officially beginning on March 20, spring cleaning season is upon us. 9to5Mac put together a very helpful article on best practices for cleaning all of your Apple devices.
Essentially, the best way to keep your iPhone, Mac and iPad screens clean is to use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean off dirt, smudges, stains and more on the device. Lucky for you, our TeraGlove is the ideal microfiber screen cleaner.
Since both iPhones and iPads involve heavy usage of your finger, the screens on both devices have an oleophobic coating to repel your finger’s natural oils. This means that you do not need to wet your microfiber cloth to get rid of fingerprints; you can just wipe it away with a dry microfiber cloth (or, use one of our iVisor AG screen protectors and just run it under the faucet. But we digress.).
For your Mac, first turn off your computer and make sure it is disconnected from the power source. You can clean the exterior of the mac with a damp microfiber cloth. When cleaning the screen, spray the cloth with water and only use water. Remember, do not spray the screen with water! The spray can drip inside the display and cause damage.
Do you have any favorite spring cleaning tech tips? Let us know below!