How to protect your Mac from malware

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dead MacBook hack
Worried about malware? Do something about it.
Photo: Ste Smith

Over the past few weeks a new Mac malware called OSX/Dok has been all over the news. The Trojan horse accessed user’s Macs through email phishing. Once opened, it prevented users from doing anything on their Mac until they installed a bogus software update.

Malware attacks have been skyrocketing as of late, which means it’s more important than ever to be aware.

In today’s video, I’m going to show you 4 ways to help keep your Mac safe from malware.

OSX.Bella trojan discovered installing backdoors into Macs

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15 inch MacBook Pro Silver
It might be time to update your passwords again.
Photo: Apple

Security researchers have discovered a nasty bit of Mac malware similar to OSX.Dok trojan, which can bypass Apple’s GateKeeper feature.

The new bug, dubbed OSX.Bella, behaves and distributes itself in a completely different manner than OSX.Dok. But once installed, it executes a script that’s just as damaging.

Russian Mac malware steals passwords and iPhone backups

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That fancy new Touch Bar could be dead already.
But there's (probably) no need to panic.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Still think your Mac is immune from viruses? Think again.

Just a week after a new strain of Mac malware was found hidden inside malicious Microsoft Word macros, security researchers have discovered sophisticated new software from Russian hackers that targets your saved passwords and iPhone backups.

Ex-NSA staffer reveals way to hack Mac’s camera and mic

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Mac App Store
You might want to put tape over your webcam.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Security researchers discovered a new way to hack the Mac’s built-in webcam this week, and the method is undetectable by users.

Apple built a green LED light into every Mac with firmware-level protection that turns on anytime the sensor is tripped by unauthorized access. The security feature has become increasingly difficult for hackers to beat, but former NSA staffer Patrick Wardle found a way to piggyback on outgoing feeds and record them.

iOS 10 beta 2, new malware targeting Macs, iPhone Photography Awards, and more

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Cover

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, we introduce you to the iOS 10 beta 2, and give a hands-on look at the latest tweaks and updates to Apple’s latest operating system. More than 50 changes have been discovered by developers, affecting everything from Apple Music to widgets, and we uncover many of them this week.

Learn about “OSX/Keydnap,” the latest strain of malware intended to attack your Mac. Disguising itself as an innocent text or image file, OSX/Keydnap installs malicious code onto your machine. We’ll let you know how the malware works, and how to prevent this from happening to your Mac!

Peruse the stunning images of this year’s iPhone Photography Awards winners. iPhone photography has never looked so good. Plus, The CultCast, How-Tos and lots more.

All this, and much much more, in Cult of Mac Magazine, free for you right now.

Here are this week’s top stories.

Dangerous new Mac malware fully compromises OS X

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Bitdefender
Bitdefender found a new backdoor into OS X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Mac systems have been exposed to a dangerous new piece of malware that allows attackers to take full control of OS X.

The new malware, dubbed Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor by security researchers, provides attackers with a backdoor into OS X systems by embedding a script into a fake file converter application that’s found on many reputable sites that sell Mac apps.

Stealthy malware will hold your Mac ransom

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money
A rare security threat aimed at Mac users.
Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr CC

Torrenters beware! The first ransomware attack on Mac users in the wild has been discovered, “courtesy” of Transmission, a BitTorrent client for Mac.

The torrent service received a major update last week, but it unfortunately the new software happened to be infected with ransomware, which went on to quietly install itself on the the Macs of everyone who downloaded the update from Transmission’s website.

Thunderstrike 2 worm can infect your Mac without detection

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12-inch MacBook
Get yours for just $999.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has touted the Mac’s resistance to viruses for decades as a selling point over Windows PCs, but a team of researchers have created a new firmware worm for Mac that might just make you want to go back to doing work on good old pencil and paper.

Two white-hat hackers discovered that several vulnerabilities affecting PC makers can also bypass Apple’s renowned security to wreak havoc on Mac firmware. The two created a proof-of-concept of the worm called Thunderstrike 2 that allows firmware attacks to be spread automatically from Mac to Mac. Devices don’t even need to be networked for the worm to spread, and once it’s infected your machine the only way to remove it is to open up your Mac and manually reflash the chip.

Here’s a preview of Thunderstrike 2 in action: