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Nasty software for the Mac

Accidentally
Programming is human work. As a result, errors sometimes creep in - unintentionally.
The only remedy for this is to keep the software up to date.

Updates
By default you will receive a message about this:



Or within the program itself:



Deliberately
In addition, there is also software that is meant to be common in itself.
Basically, your Mac could get infected with a program that is going to tease you. It is therefore important that you know something about it.

Faulty software, what is that?
We recognize a number of "bad" software (in no particular order):

Malware: software that messes up your Mac system. For example false Flash updates. Flash is abandonware since 2020 and no updates are made by Adobe. So every update you see nowadays is FAKE:



NOTE: Malware is the collective name for all wrong software out there.

Adware: software that displays unwanted advertisements. Example: Genieo.

Ransomware: Secretly installs and encrypts all your files. You have to pay to decrypt them again. Example: EvilQuest. This is hidden in illegal software:



Virus: a virus is a self-spreading and self-installing program, without the user having to take any action. Fortunately, we have not yet encountered this for MacOS.

Worm: a form of Malware that spreads itself unnoticed through a network. It installs itself unnoticed on computers in that network. Example: the global WanaCry ransomware infection of May 2017. This one uses port 245 (network protocol SMB uses this) to secretly enter un-updated Windows computers.
Note: Macs and Linux are not vulnerable to this worm.

Scareware or Rogueware: scare tactics, but no less harmful. You come to a website (or ad) that says your Mac is infected or needs to be cleaned. Examples: MacKeeper and CleanMyMac. May mine also be placed under the heading 'Malware'.

Finally: no 'bad software' but a very important, if not the most important, security issue:
Phishing: this is by devious means (via email, WhatsApp or telephone) to fool users that they are dealing with a bona fide company (bank, auction site, webshop, Apple) and then have them log in to a fake website.
Example: "the Fappening".


Wrong software: Trojans
Since the introduction of MacOS in 2001, some so-called "Trojans" (Trojans Horses) have been identified.
This is software that secretly installs itself during a normal installation. Well, not quite normal: Mac Trojans, for example, reside in illegally downloaded software. When installing it, you have to use your administrator password, and this Trojan Horse makes good use of it. So the name "Trojan" says exactly what the program does; Troy also opened the gate itself at the time ... so be warned!


App Store is always ok
Download as much as possible from the App Store. This is not only easy, but also safe.
The same applies to certified developers, although such a certificate is not expensive and can therefore be misused. However, this abuse will be short-lived; as soon as the malware is known, Apple will revoke the certificate.


Malware notification
You can get a notification that you have downloaded bad software. Put the software in the Trash and empty it immediately. Apple calls this function Gatekeeper:



The Mac can also automatically recognize and remove malware:




Nasty websites
Google keeps track of which sites are wrong. Safari also uses this black list. The info is automatically sent to your Mac. As long as you receive automatic updates, you're fine.



NOTE: Again, the incorrect website must first be discovered and reported. Unfortunately, there will always be some time between notice and update.


Scareware (= scare tactics)
It is possible that one day you will come across a website where you are suddenly warned that your Mac is in trouble. There would be viruses on it and / or a cleaning action must be performed.
MacMiep has encountered two so far:

This one started chattering, telling me that my Mac was full of viruses:



This already seemed a lot more real, because the messages at the top right also appeared on the right of the screen. Yes, they did their best:



And the website then offers to clean ... Oh oh ....
That was sweetly offered, but are they really that nice?

It looks deceptively real. The notification promises that when you download THEIR program, your Mac will be up and running in no time.
DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT. It's all fake!


Quit Safari immediately, even if you get another message or you know for sure, blah-blah-blah.
What the makers of the website and ditto program want is to steal your bank or credit card details. They scare you at first, promise to help you, but then you have to pay. The assholes!


Cleaners for the Mac are NOT REQUIRED
They provide little or no speed gain or space. In fact, Mac forums are full of topics from people who have used a clean program and run into problems. People who are used to Windows and have switched to the Mac often also want to use a cleaning program as they were used to, to avoid problems. Not necessary. MacOS is a BSD UNIX system under the hood and that will clean up itself.
Knowing more? An article from 2012 but still current:
The Myth of the Dirty Mac.



Remove malware
Use the Malwarebytes program to check if you have caught anything. Malwarebytes also removes any infection. Indispensable software for your Mac!





Anti-virus software
Anti-virus software manufacturers are responding to the trend that Macs can also be infected.
The problem is usually that this software is often poorly made and slows down your Mac unnecessarily.
It is better not to let such programs run in the background, but to run them regularly.
Malwarebytes is great for this.



And, finally:
What Apple does to protect your Mac.



The next chapter is:
Airdrop: between Macs






Disclaimer: MacMiep is independent. This means she writes what she wants, based on 30 years of Mac-experience. She doesn't get paid for stories (positive or negative) on this website. MacMiep is not interested in your data. However, she does use Google's services. Google is indeed interested. Are you happy with MacMiep? Please support your local cat shelter.