A Little Interruption

I received an email from my wife that her computer had been hacked. It made her a little nervous.

She’d sent the email two hours before. (As an aside, she sent it on one of our other computers. How many do we have? Yes, too many.) I’d been busy writing and didn’t have my email open, so I didn’t see the email. When I saw it, I wrote, “Okay, I’m coming home.” I was almost done with writing like crazy for the day, although I’d wanted to walk to think more about the concept and plot.

Her computer is an Apple Mac. She hadn’t been hacked but was being scammed by a Mad Defender variant, a little surprising. It’s pretend ransom-ware. The Mac Defender scam is about blocking the user from changing tabs and pages in Safari while a warning that spyware has been detected is shown. It then tells you to call a number for Apple support.

From there, several things can happen. One, they can urge the gullible to share computer access. Two, they can be conned into buying a security program that’s not a security program but gives them access to your computer and its files and information. Or, most enticing for them, they get your credit card info and go to town.

It took me about seventy minutes to research her particulars and find and delete the malware app, along with the offending processes. As Mac Defender and the other names it goes by has been around since 2011, they’d changed details to make it more difficult to find and remove. I was surprised that they were using the MS Azurewebsites for this, as MS has been burned by this in the past. That was a big, immediate clue when I opened her computer and saw the message.

Anyone, it was a disruption to writing and posting blog thingies, along with walking and a few other things, but all’s well, and that’s the bottom line in all of this.

Back to our normal programming.

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