Ransomware Updates

We’ve got some new stuff out there. First, for those who torrent, be careful. If you torrent on a Mac, be very careful.  For the second time, ransomware has been designed for the Mac OS.In this case, “Patcher” is poor quality, shoddy code, to the extent that if the victim pays the ransom, they don’t get their files back because that code doesn’t work. It’s getting dropped via fake Adobe Premier Pro and Microsoft Office for Mac.

Second, if Google is telling you “Hoefler test not found”, don’t think you need to install that font. It’s a ploy on certain compromised websites to drop Spora ransomware. And very few AV or anti-malware programs can detect this one.

spora.JPG But, if you play it safe and do as Google says, click Discard and don’t download.  You’ll avoid ransomware.

If you want to know more, I’ve got a Ransomware page.

And saved the best for last. This amazing map from F-Secure shows the timeline of ransomware.  You can see the explosion that took place in 2016.




IOS8 – What You Should Know Before You Update


You’re excited. It’s finally here. And like opening a shiny new present you can’t wait to install it. STOP! This is fortress security, where we don’t rush headlong into disaster, and you don’t either.

First – backup your device. Never make any changes to your tech without having a recent backup first. Because stuff happens, and it always happens when you didn’t take a backup. Consider it your insurance policy. If you haven’t done one yet, there’s no time like the present. Given how many people say their lives are in their phones, that’s reason enough. Don’t rely on the cloud, but do a tangible, retrievable backup to a computer and save it to iTunes. Move off some photos, videos, anything to ensure you have 1.4 GB of empty storage space. The upgrade isn’t for everyone. iPhone 4 and original iPads are too old.  Still eligible are 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, iPads 2, 3, 4 , Air and Mini. Allow between 30 minutes to an hour for the upgrade to complete and don’t expect to use your phone during that time. And then, the fun begins.

Expect to find lots of little changes to the old familiar: App store, iTunes store, multi-tasking and Spotlight. New are privacy controls and the iCloud keychain, a security feature for passwords etc. The new Apple Pay feature won’t be offered until October, and this is only for iPhone 6 and 6plus.

The iOS 8 Keyboard:  it’s predictive, which takes some getting used to but is helpful. And a whole new host of Emoji. Plus it supports third-party keyboards that allow for swipe-typing. Crazy as it looks, it works! I know, I use it.

Safari has a credit card reading feature in iOS8 so that you can scan your cards and have the information put directly onto the website page.  I’m not ready to recommend that yet, given the recent surge of security and data breaches, and knowing Apple products have fallen victim to targeted malware attacks and email schemes to lure users.

I do like, however, that a new feature lets you track apps that are battery hogs.  Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to General | Usage | Battery Usage

After a few moments, the Battery Usage section will appear, and display those apps using the most power.


You may like that in the Photos App, you can view only those videos you shot, which are stored in their own album. Want some of those photos to briefly disappear? You can now tap and hold until a menu appears, then select Hide.

Find My iPhone: Send last location before battery dies. Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch now can send the last known location from your device to iCloud before the battery dies. We know what that’s like. Here’s how to set things up:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap iCloud | Find my [device type]
  3. Turn on the option for Send Last Location

Note that if you use WiFi and aren’t near an access point, this may not be able to work.

And finally, font size. When iOS 7 came out, it came with the option to change font size throughout the system.  But it was hard to find. Here is how to find the setting in iOS 8:


Hopefully this gets you up and running, so you can start enjoying all the new features. Because technology should be fun and friendly. Just like me!