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Critical updates for nearly all Apple devices

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 at 7:50 AM EDT

Yesterday, Apple released updates for nearly all their devices. Mac OS X, iOS 7, Apple TV and Apple’s AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule base stations all received updates. All users are advised to do two things immediately: 1) back up your devices, and then 2) install all available updates.
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How to uninstall software

Posted on April 7th, 2014 at 11:06 AM EDT

Okay, I’ll admit that Windows has a leg up on Mac OS X in one area: uninstalling software. On Windows this is easy (in theory) for anyone to do through the control panel. Mac OS X, however, does not provide any systemwide features for software removal. As a result, there are many myths and uncertainties as to how software should be removed from a Mac.
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New NetWeird variants added to XProtect

Posted on March 28th, 2014 at 9:42 PM EDT

Yesterday, I wrote about some new NetWeird trojans that were not detected by XProtect. Less than 36 hours later, XProtect has been updated to version 2047, and now blocks those samples.
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Macworld recommends theft of Mac OS X

Posted on March 20th, 2014 at 8:01 AM EDT

Once upon a time, Macworld was one of the most respected Mac-related periodicals out there. How times have changed! I have just come across a story on the Macworld web site, published early this morning, that not only recommends the use of stolen copies of Mac OS X, but also provides instructions on exactly how to do this!
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Missing malware added to XProtect

Posted on March 14th, 2014 at 9:47 AM EDT

Last week, I wrote about a number of malware samples I had discovered that were not detected by XProtect. Immediately after posting that article, I submitted those samples to Apple. Yesterday, they were finally added to XProtect, when XProtect was updated to version 2046. This, and other developments over the past week, are both encouraging and upsetting, for a variety of reasons.
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Time to re-evaluate safety of Mac OS X

Posted on March 5th, 2014 at 11:07 AM EST

My Mac Malware Guide has, for some time, made the claim that a properly up-to-date Mac OS X system cannot be infected by any known malware. This was true at one point, with some provisos, when that text was originally written. However, recent cases of malware that has failed to be blocked by the XProtect anti-malware system in Mac OS X prompted me to do a re-evaluation of this statement. What I found was profoundly disappointing, leaving me wishing that I could take those words back.
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Apple’s “gotofail” SSL bug

Posted on February 24th, 2014 at 12:49 PM EST

On Friday, Apple released a security update for iOS 6 and 7 that has caused a quite a stir in the security community. The update fixes a vulnerability in SSL – the technology that is used to encrypt data over many secure network connections – that could allow an attacker to intercept and access that data. This is a very serious matter, and iOS should be updated immediately… but only while on a secured network! Do not update while on an open wifi network!
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New CoinThief malware discovered

Posted on February 10th, 2014 at 10:32 AM EST

A new Mac trojan, named OSX/CoinThief.A by SecureMac, has been discovered. This malware is designed to steal Bitcoins from infected machines, and is disguised as an app intended to be used for sending and receiving Bitcoin payments. Although the average user is not likely to be affected by this, it has cost at least one user around $12,000 in lost Bitcoins, according to SecureMac.
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Mac anti-virus testing 2014

Posted on January 27th, 2014 at 8:49 AM EST

Update: Many people have completely ignored some of the cautionary information mentioned in the Scope section, and have erroneously assumed that the anti-virus apps at the top of the test results are the best to use overall. For this reason, I will not be repeating these tests. Feel free to read on to see the results of the testing, but please read the entire article, and don’t just skip ahead to the results. If you are looking for advice about what anti-virus software to use, you would be better served by reading my Mac Malware Guide.
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Preliminary anti-virus testing comments

Posted on January 22nd, 2014 at 1:06 PM EST

I have been working on another round of testing of anti-virus apps. The last time I did this was one year ago, in January of 2013, so I decided it was probably time to repeat it. I have finished all the scanning, but still have a pile of work in front of me to get all the data tabulated. Still, this experience has been frustrating enough that I want to make some preliminary comments, before I have the full results in-hand.
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