Can't Zero Out Data on 2013 MBA?

iamMacPerson

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2011
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My dads MacBook Air became infected with a virus, so I wiped the HDD. Thing is, I'm trying to at least Zero Out the data, but when I try to in Disk Utility via my OS X thumb drive, "Security Options" is grayed out. Any ideas on how to bypass it?
 

micrors4racer

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Apr 19, 2012
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It probably has to the with the fact that an SSD has a limited amount of reads and writes. I think that the drive deletes a certain portion of the filesystem to effectively "erase" it. Akin to deleting the encryption key on an encrypted drive which renders the drive useless.

A regular reformat is all that is needed to take care of any malware.
 

iamMacPerson

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I thought the amount of R/W was pretty high.

It was that virus that wants money to "unlock" your computer. It only affect Safari and supposedly only works if Safari (or whatever your browser) is open. It actually locks Safari from quitting, so force quitting it stops it. I just wanted to take it 1 step further.
 

\-V-/

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May 3, 2012
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Can't Zero Out Data on 2013 MBA?

You don't use secure erase options on SSDs... it's unnecessary and wears down the drive. Wiping was entirely unnecessary as well. I'm curious to know the name of this malware. It was clearly just affecting Safari since it can't affect the entire system like its Windows counterpart. Most of these malware are all bark and no bite. They say a lot, but do very little. Why didn't you scan with ClamXav or something? You could've also made a new account to see if it was account-specific or not... which they usually are.
 
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iamMacPerson

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You don't use secure erase options on SSDs... it's unnecessary and wears down the drive. Wiping was entirely unnecessary as well. I'm curious to know the name of this malware. It was clearly just affecting Safari since it can't affect the entire system like its Windows counterpart. Most of these malware are all bark and no bite. They say a lot, but do very little. Why didn't you scan with ClamXav or something? You could've also made a new account to see if it was account-specific or not... which they usually are.
Its that stupid "FBI Virus". I know most of them are all bark and no bite, but when it comes to a family/friends machine I take no chances. On my personal machine, I really don't care. I would probably poke fun at it and see what I could do with it. But on theirs, its a different story.

I'll have to get some scanning utilities like you said. It would be a wise download.
 

\-V-/

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May 3, 2012
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Can't Zero Out Data on 2013 MBA?

They call that "ransomware", and yes I'm familiar with it. Just wondering what name it was, but that was a dumb question since you wouldn't know because you didn't scan for it (you probably wouldn't have found anything anyway since it's not technically malware, just a browser "hijacker"). You can find out more about it here: http://malwaretips.com/blogs/fbi-mac-os-x-virus/. As you can see from the article, it's a two second fix. It's hardly a big issue. The Windows counterpart is a pain to get rid of, but the Mac version is a minor annoyance. They're not even remotely the same thing. It's not even a virus, really (there aren't any viruses on the Mac). Alternatively you could've also used a free app cleaner tool to trash all the Safari settings. Something like this: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25276/appcleaner

I usually reformat an infected Windows PC since it's a lot easier/quicker than dealing with it. On a Mac, getting rid of malware is a relatively easy task. Fortunately though, Macs are a breeze to set up if you reformat... but I can understand where you're coming from. Clean formats are a good feeling. :)

The one I recommended, ClamXav, is free: http://www.clamxav.com
 
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iamMacPerson

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 12, 2011
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They call that "ransomware", and yes I'm familiar with it. Just wondering what name it was, but that was a dumb question since you wouldn't know because you didn't scan for it (you probably wouldn't have found anything anyway since it's not technically malware, just a browser "hijacker"). You can find out more about it here: http://malwaretips.com/blogs/fbi-mac-os-x-virus/. As you can see from the article, it's a two second fix. It's hardly a big issue. The Windows counterpart is a pain to get rid of, but the Mac version is a minor annoyance. They're not even remotely the same thing. It's not even a virus, really (there aren't any viruses on the Mac). Alternatively you could've also used a free app cleaner tool to trash all the Safari settings. Something like this: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25276/appcleaner

I usually reformat an infected Windows PC since it's a lot easier/quicker than dealing with it. On a Mac, getting rid of malware is a relatively easy task. Fortunately though, Macs are a breeze to set up if you reformat... but I can understand where you're coming from. Clean formats are a good feeling. :)

The one I recommended, ClamXav, is free: http://www.clamxav.com
Just got ClamXav on the App Store. Thanks for the advice! I'll install it on all my Macs ASAP.

Well at least my dads machine will be nice and snappy when I'm done.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
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For the record, if you you feel you have any reason in the future to to do a full wipe of this type on your MacBook Air to fully delete day, probably the most effective thing to do is to turn on FileVault and set up the SSD as encrypted. When you format the drive later, the key will be overwritten and the rest of the remaining data on the drive will be about as useful as if someone had gone in and did random writes over the whole volume.