The Safe Mac

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New “Ventir” malware

Posted on October 19th, 2014 at 8:54 AM EDT


On Thursday of last week, Kaspersky announced their discovery of a new piece of Mac malware, which they are calling Ventir. I have held off writing anything about this until I could get some independent confirmation, as I tend to be skeptical of Kaspersky these days. (See Misinformation about “acoustical infections” and Kaspersky reveals “The Mask”.) However, I have tested my own copy of the malware at this point, and found that Kaspersky’s analysis seems to be fairly accurate in this case. Read the rest of this entry »


Should you worry about POODLE bites?

Posted on October 15th, 2014 at 7:38 AM EDT


Yesterday, Google revealed a vulnerability that one of their researchers found in SSL3, a technology used to secure many network connections, including those used by secure websites. This bug – which is being called “POODLE” – could allow for an attacker to gain access to encrypted transmissions sent between the browser and a secure site. The question many Mac users will be asking this morning is: how much should we worry? Read the rest of this entry »


iWorm method of infection found!

Posted on October 4th, 2014 at 7:29 AM EDT


On Thursday, I wrote about new malware called iWorm. This morning I awoke to find an e-mail waiting for me in my Inbox from someone who wished to remain anonymous. This person indicated that he had found installers for the new iWorm malware. He pointed me to the downloads offered by a user named “aceprog” on PirateBay. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Web announces new “iWorm” malware

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 at 7:39 AM EDT


Dr. Web announced the discovery of a new piece of Mac malware on Monday, which they are calling Mac.Backdoor.iWorm. According to their report, they believe the malware is affecting “more than 17,000 unique IP addresses.” Of course, this may not correlate well with the number of infected Macs, since most Macs do not have static IP addresses, but the number of infected Macs should at least be on the same order of magnitude. Read the rest of this entry »


What does the “Shellshock” bug affect?

Posted on September 25th, 2014 at 9:48 AM EDT


The Internet’s tech news sites are awash in reports about the newly-discovered bug in the bash shell, now being called “Shellshock.” However, much of the coverage is either confusing for non-techies, or is misleading or even outright wrong. So what is this “Shellshock” thing, and what does it mean to you? Read the rest of this entry »


AdMedic is now AdwareMedic

Posted on September 12th, 2014 at 4:11 PM EDT


Due to an unfortunate naming issue, AdMedic has been renamed, and is now AdwareMedic! You will find it now on Read the rest of this entry »


Announcing AdMedic!

Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 7:24 AM EDT


Update: AdMedic has been renamed, and is now AdwareMedic. Sorry for the inconvenience! For more information on why this was necessary, see the old AdMedic page. For the current AdwareMedic app, go to

AdMedic is an application for Mac OS X designed to remove all known adware from your computer. It is very simple to use, and should clean up your system in less than a minute, from start to finish. Just open the app, click the Scan for Adware button, and remove anything that is detected. That’s it! Read the rest of this entry »


How the movie industry is causing adware problems

Posted on September 6th, 2014 at 3:37 PM EDT


Before you think I’m saying something I’m not, let me clarify: the movie industry is not deliberately infecting people with adware. Nonetheless, it is their policies that are giving power to the scams that hackers use to infect people with adware… and actual malware, for that matter. This may seem like a stretch, but let’s look at a real-world example that illustrates why this is true. Read the rest of this entry »


Implications of celebrity photo iCloud hack

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 at 9:28 AM EDT


If you haven’t seen it in the news yet, I’m sure you will soon: the hackers who obtained and published nude photos of a number of female celebrities allegedly got those photos by hacking the iCloud accounts of those celebs. It’s unclear at this time whether iCloud was actually involved or whether news media have noticed two separate stories and glued them together. In any case, though, an iCloud vulnerability was real, so how concerned do we need to be? Read the rest of this entry »


The unchecked growth of Mac adware

Posted on August 18th, 2014 at 2:40 PM EDT

Adware was unheard of on the Mac just a couple years ago. The first Mac adware appeared in 2012, and it was the only one to appear that year. Since then, adware has seen an exponential rise that promises to bring the Mac down to the same state as Windows, where adware infections are very common. Most people just want to know how to get rid of adware, but the questions we need to be asking are what is causing this sudden growth, and why is it being allowed to grow unchecked? Read the rest of this entry »


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