| Cult of Mac

Phishing scams Mac users should look out for


Macs may be pretty secure, but Mac users can still fall victim to lots of scams.
Macs may be pretty secure, but Mac users can still fall victim to lots of scams.
Photo: Pixels/Mikhail Nilov

Apple’s macOS is more secure than other operating systems like Windows. But an increasing number of phishing and malware attacks now target Mac users.

And, no matter how secure macOS is, it does not make Mac users immune from the danger of phishing. The success of such attacks often depends on the vigilance of the user.

Apple makes Safari’s Fraudulent Website Warning even more secure


Safari Fraudulent Website Warning is an optional feature.
Safari’s anti-phishing tool is about to get even more secure.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Fraudulent Website Warning system built into Safari in the upcoming iOS 14.5 reportedly takes an additional step to protect your identity. Apple licenses the scam-prevention service from Google, and going forward will block that company from knowing users’ IP addresses through the use of a proxy server.

FTC warns about scammers calling people pretending to be Apple


Apple ditched plans for secure iCloud backups after FBI concern
Scammers could claim your iCloud account has been breached.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Federal Trade Commission is warning people that scammers are posing as Apple customer support workers in an attempt to defraud them. The agency shared a couple of recorded messages (which you can listen to here) that sound quasi-legitimate but are, in fact, trying to steal personal information.

In one message, the caller says they have detected suspicious activity in the recipient’s iCloud account. They suggest that the account has been breached and, to secure it, the person should speak to an Apple customer service representative. They then give the option to connect to such a person on the phone.

Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9’s powerful solutions secure your Mac


Mac Premium Bundle X9 protects your computer from online threats with five apps.
Mac Premium Bundle X9 safeguards your precious computer.
Image: Intego

This Mac security post is presented by Intego.

Macs have a reputation for being less vulnerable than PCs to online threats like malware and viruses, but your machine is certainly not invulnerable. Far from it, actually. It can pay to invest in a suite of security apps like those in Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 to protect your Mac from a variety of online threats.

Apple is the most imitated brand in global phishing attacks


Apple is the most imitated brand in global phishing attacks
You can tell he's a hacker because he's got computer code reflected in his sinister glasses.
Photo: Nahel Abdul Hadi/Unsplash CC

Apple has the dubious distinction of being the most imitated brand globally used in attempted phishing attacks, claims a new report.

Check Point Research’s latest Brand Phishing Report covers the first quarter of 2020. It shows that Apple was the top target for web-based phishing attacks and the second for mobile-based attacks for the first three months of the year.

Athletes’ and musicians’ Apple accounts hacked in phishing scheme


Fraudster steals $16k from victim posing as Apple tech support
Dear sir or madam, I am from Apple tech support. What is your password? Love, totally legit guy
Photo: Donald Tong/Pexels CC

Everyone needs to watch out for hackers phishing for their account details, and that includes celebrities. A Georgia man tricked pro athletes and rappers into giving up login details for their Apple accounts, which he used to access to their credit cards, according to the FBI.

Guilty iCloud hacker sent to slammer


Celebgate hack
Christopher Brannan gets a prison sentence for his part in the crime.
Illustration: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A judge sentenced a former high school teacher to 34 months in prison Friday after the man pleaded guilty to his role in the “Celebgate” hack of iCloud and other accounts.

Of those convicted for the high-profile hack, Christopher Brannan, 31, received the harshest sentence for breaching accounts. The attack led to the circulation of nude photos and videos of model Kate Upton, actress Jennifer Lawrence and others.

Watch for password phishing if your iPhone gets stolen


GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
The thief who has your stolen iPhone will use surprisingly sophisticated means to trick your passwords out of you.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If your iPhone is ever lost or stolen, be extra careful about scammers attempting trick your Apple ID password from you. iPhone thieves reportedly have an elaborate system set up to scam this information, as it’s needed to make a stolen device much more valuable.

Apple apologizes after Apple IDs stolen in China


Apple IDs were used to steal money from accounts.
Photo: Alipay

Apple has issued an apology after a number of customers in China had their Apple ID stolen and used by thieves to take money from paired mobile payment services.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Apple said that it is, “deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams.” It noted that this incident affected a “small number” of users.