Big Mac Attack (inedible)

It's our birthday!

Computers dot mom launched twenty years ago--with coffee and biscuits, desktop computers and dial-up connections.

Before Google search. (Imagine!).

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you--friends, family, clients, many of whom have been with us from the beginning--who continue to make this an amazing, challenging, and rewarding journey.

Mac users, don't get complacent.

This week unusual piece of malware appeared on a client’s Mac that was NOT detected by the usual tools like Malwarebytes and was a bear to remove. 

Symptoms: Constant pop-up windows pushing helpful-sounding (but not free or safe) programs. Chrome and Safari home page and search options changed and those changes locked so they couldn't be undone.
Cause: Client clicked on a legitimate-looking prompt on a webpage: "You need to update Adobe Flash Player" which installed all kinds of nasty stuff instead. 

Solution: The usual fixes only solved part of the problem. The unusual aspect of this particular malware was to add a PROFILE; deleting that unlocked the browsers. (A very similar attack on a client's iPhone last summer used the same technique).

What you can do: If you use a Mac, iPhone or iPad, check in System Preferences (Mac) or Settings > General (iOS) and look for Profiles

If you don’t see a Profiles option, great!  If you DO find Profiles, check the contents and investigate any profiles you find—they could be malware. (Legitimate profiles are generated, for example, if you use a VPN). You can always send us a screenshot if you’re not sure.  (Here's how: MacPCiPhone).

Prevention!!!!: There's a common misconception that you should always update "Adobe." Adobe is a company, not a product; they make lots of different apps, including Reader (which Mac users don't usually need), Photoshop, and Flash.  YOU PROBABLY DON'T NEED FLASH, so don't update it unless you are 100% sure it's necessary. More info here.

On a More Cheerful Note:

  • The latest update to the Apple Watch enabled the cardiogram features; Wired magazine has a good rundown of the pros and cons here.

  • AT&T is finally ready for dual-sim (two line) iPhones. Verizon---soon.

Wishing you healthy and happy holidays and a wonderful 2019!