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WannaCry Ransomware and Macs

By now you’ve probably heard of the world-wide ransomware attack, “WannaCry.” It has brought down over 200,000 systems in 150 countries including major medical organizations by encrypting data and holding it for ransom. Lucky for Mac users this is a Windows-only attack. However, ransomware for the Mac is alive and well. Make sure your network and devices are protected and you have a recovery plan.

Implement a firewall with quality network protection, turn on Mac OS Firewall in the Security section of the System Preferences, use Malware/Antivirus protection (we recommend Bitdefender + MacLab’s Malware detection) and check that your backup allows you to revert all data to a time before an attack.

Apple Moves on the Mac Pro

Apple has shifted the Mac Pro line to give more power for the dollar. The previous $3999 Mac Pro is now $2999 and is the new base model. It has a 6 core processor, 16GB RAM and a more powerful graphics card. The hardware on the Mac Pro line hasn’t been changed and there is no new design.

Apple Marketing Chief, Phil Shiller says “We are in the process of what we call ‘completely rethinking the Mac Pro.’ As part of doing a new Mac Pro—it is, by definition, a modular system—we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.”

In the meantime, a thousand dollar price break for the existing Mac Pros is nothing to complain about and good news that Apple is committing to the future of the creative professional. Let MacLab spec a few out for your team.

iCloud Hack April 7 Claims to Wipe iPhones

The “Turkish Crime Family” says they will remotely wipe a large number of iPhones via compromised iCloud accounts on April 7th unless Apple turns over $100,000. Apple says they have not been breached. It is thought that the hackers may have leaked passwords from other sources and will use it to attempt a match to iCloud logins in hope that people have used the same passwords (common practice). In some cases this results in a successful compromise. Remember to use unique passwords just for this reason. If you have an iCloud account, it would be a good idea to change the password before April 7, regardless. You can also set up two factor authentication if you’d like to be extra cautious.

A Preferred Partner

MacLab is happy to announce we are now a Preferred Partner for Kerio products. In short, this means Kerio gives us the highest recommendation as an expert with their products. Kerio is the developer of Kerio Connect and Kerio Cloud email solutions and Kerio Control, our first recommendation for network protection. Whether you need to purchase a new Kerio product, upgrade, discuss email hosting or network protection, we’ve got you covered.

Protecting Against Ransomware

Ransomware is malware that disables your computer data until you pay a fee. This is done by encrypting the files so they are unreadable. There is no way to access your files without the “key” held by the hacker. Obviously this is serious as it has the potential to render all user data useless. There is now ransomware targeting the Mac.

Paying the ransom is a bad idea. There is no guarantee the data will be unlocked and you encourage this behavior. MacLab’s cloud backup cannot be encrypted by ransomware and is excellent protection. Another recommended level of protection is to have a firewall with advanced threat detection such as Kerio Control. Lastly, be sure routine maintenance is performed to keep up with security patches.

Learning to Adapt

When you buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro, be prepared with adapters for connecting devices. Apple has given a single type of connection, the USB-C port.

Here’s what you may need:

Many adapters you can get from Apple, MacLab, or elsewhere but beware low quality products that can damage your new computer. Here’s an article picking some specific adapters that might be helpful. If you have MacLab source the computer purchase we can work with you to ensure you have everything you need.

adapter

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