Ransomware - has this made you rethink your platform choice

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by maflynn, May 16, 2017.

  1. maflynn, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    Has the prospect of this latest ransomware threat made you re-think Windows?

    WannaCry ransomware: Everything you need to know

    A couple of points to ponder
    1. Ransomware has started making its way to OSX, so we are not immune, but thanks to the architecture its harder to get infected AFAIK.
    2. If you keep your system update then your risks are reduced.
    3. Practicing good computing habits, like not opening emails or attachments, not going to shady sights (*cough* warez, porn, etc, *cough*)

    I will be honest in that for my family, I'm wondering if the macOS ecosystem is a better fit. With kids they click on stuff that most adults wouldn't and while they don't use email the odds of them mistakenly (or not so mistakenly) going to sites that may infect a computer is relatively high

    I'm trying to fix my wife's HP right now, because her computer has some adware/malware. I'm not sure if its from the kids or her.
     
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #2
    Personally, I view the possibility of a ransomware attack the same as having a catastrophic disk failure.

    In other words, it's not a case of "if" but "when" and with that in mind I make sure I have a very strong and robust backup strategy so when disaster does strike I can recover quickly whether it's a hardware failure or something more nefarious

    My backup strategy is probably overly paranoid but is as follows:

    All our Macs backup using Time Machine to a Synology NAS.

    All our Macs are also backed using Crashplan online

    Windows Machines backup to the NAS using Synology backup software

    All photos sync to google photos and the Synology NAS

    The NAS is synced to another NAS and backed up to yet another NAS, external disk, Synology C2, CrashPlan online and Google Drive (we have paid GSuite accounts with unlimited data)

    The second NAS is also backed up to external disk and CrashPlan online

    All Google data is backed up using Spanning Backup
     
  3. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #3
    Nope....

    The computers affected by that attack were running older unsupported OS or not patched to the level they should be patched.

    I have both Windows and Mac and both work fine as long as you stay patched and keep your definitions up to date.
     
  4. maflynn, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017

    maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    The insidiousness of ransomware is that it can lay dormant for a period of time, thus causing your backups to be infected.
    --- Post Merged, May 16, 2017 ---
    By and large I agree but yet given the nature of ransomware, and how they used stolen vulnerabilities from the NSA, this may be the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

    I still will use windows, as its more efficient and feature rich for my job, but for my family and their habits, I am vetting out how to protect my data.
     
  5. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #5
    The most likely to be infected in my family are my wife and daughter, they both have Macs and neither have any important on the computers themselves only. If someone wants to take the time to port something over to my heavily modified Linux boxes I'll give them the couple hundred bucks just for their efforts.
     
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #6
    It's true that some ransomware will slowly encrypt files so that it doesn't get noticed straight away, but as my backups have unlimited backup history I would still be able to recover all my data from before it was encrypted
     
  7. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    Not for nothing, but that's one nice advantage TM has over other backup solutions. You get near unlimited versions provided you have the storage.
     
  8. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    #8
    I bought my fiancee a mac.

    she has a samsung windows laptop but keeps infecting it.
    From clean install she has record of 5 mins to infect it. Cant see how!

    anyway since she got a mac no infection.
    plus her main machine no longer her macbook but an ipad
     
  9. Queen6, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

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    #9
    No am fine with both Windows & OS X, just take sensible precautions on both platforms. For Windows VoodooShield is an excellent option as it locks down the system preventing any malicious payloads executing. For OS X Objective See is a site worth visiting.

    Q-6
     
  10. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #10
    Uhh what kind of sites is she visiting and does she have any kind of ad-blocker installed? Can't see how you could infect a computer that fast unless you were searching for "free toolbars" or the like.
     
  11. tonyr6 macrumors 65816

    tonyr6

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    #11
    I agree also don't let her use IE and block Adobe Flash. Also make her run as a limited user.
     
  12. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    #12
    I dunno what she was doing.

    think it was one those "click here to speed up your computer" type things

    Since giving her the macbook air (1st gen) no issues :)
     
  13. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    That's my wife, She's been blaming the kids for using her PC and causing it to get infected, but her track record is rather poor :p

    She finally said she wished I got her an iMac instead of the AIO HP that she told me specifically she wanted. Like everything its my fault for not getting a mac - even though I did exactly as she told me :rolleyes:
     
  14. gooser macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    i'm just glad i'm not married.
    --- Post Merged, May 18, 2017 ---
    not saying that i'm immune to ransomware but i use several different mac computers in my home and i take care to make sure that all my data (pictures, movies and music) is stored on computers that aren't hooked up to the internet. with how i acquire my data it's easy for me. with that being said the day may come when i will of course continue to keep my data on internetless computers and use a cheap chromebook for internet only.
     
  15. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

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    #15
    There's a false equivalence going on stating that macOS is just as susceptible to malware as Windows. But that isn't true. That could be an over-correction to the claims at the other extreme stating that macOS CANNOT be infected. That isn't true either.

    What IS true is that generally speaking macOS is less prone (relatively speaking) than Windows.

    Although macOS is my primary OS, I still use Windows XP (on a vintage ThinkPad T42, with the POS update patch), Windows 7 (on a ThinkPad T61), and I use Windows 10 on a Dell Inspiron. I prefer XP and 7 because I have greater control over how they interact with the outside world. I've got them locked down pretty good.

    Much of known Windows 10 communications cannot be controlled, and there are things that Win10 does that Microsoft doesn't reveal.
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #16
    No. Run Windows at work. Mac/Windows/Linux at home. They all have flaws.

    Generally if you actually take some time to secure your machine(s), keep them up to date (at least do security/critical updates only) and don't do dumb things you can avoid most of this stuff.

    Wannacry was patched in the March Windows security updates. It's now late May.

    If you're still not patched 2 months after the security updates were pushed, thats your own stupid fault.

    That said, Apple does tend to do a much better job than Windows or Android with regards to security by default. You need to think less, and don't keep having to second guess updates so much.
     
  17. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #17
    Keep Sys up to date.
    Keep a reasonably up to date offline backup.
    I tend to turn my PC off more often than my Macs, and ensure updates run when booted.
    I don't go rooting around in odd corners of the internet as much on PC as on Mac, and look at dialogs more carefully. Some of that is just that I'm not completely used to windows machines yet.
    5-6 months PC without a single problem.
    It feels as if things are not as bad as they are touted to be.
     
  18. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #18
    Things are never as bad or as good as they're tauted to be on the internet.
     
  19. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #19
  20. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I think that is very unfair to Microsoft. It was NHS' fault for not upgrading Windows. After all, Microsoft did clearly say that it would end support for XP in 2014 - that is 12 years of support! In my book, Microsoft gets a pass w.r.t they not updating Windows XP.

    Apple for example, stopped supporting Mavericks, an OS it released in 2013, last September.
     
  21. UL2RA Suspended

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    May 7, 2017
    #21
    I have no problems using either Windows or macOS. I'd highly recommend Faronics Deep Freeze on Windows. If you get ransomware, you can get rid of it by ... restarting the computer. It may be a bit (extremely) overkill for some people though.
     
  22. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #22
    According to the following article, Windows 7 was affected the most, "with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP".

    Almost all WannaCry victims were running Windows 7 - The Verge
     
  23. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    #23
  24. pastrychef, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #24
    Then why didn't they release the fix earlier? If a fix for XP were available, I assume a fix for 7 was available...

    Of course, there's the possibility that people simply didn't apply the fix...

    At any rate, it was Windows hole that got exploited and not a Mac which brings me back to my original statement that I'm as confident in macOS today as I was when I first started using Macs.
     
  25. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    Cornwall UK
    #25
    Malware bytes make a FREE anti ransomware program that is supposed to load before windows to prevent ransomware installing to start with.

    claimed to be 90-95% effective at blocking auto installing ransomware on windows.

    I also noted my local bank ATM runs XP.
    I was in there other day and saw it reboot.
    That's scary!
     

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