Trojan horse on my iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Glenn82, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Glenn82 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi, I've got a serious problem with my iMac, my SSD and HD is completely ruined, and I suspect it's a Trojan horse but I'm not sure.

    At first there were some glitches in VLC media player, after restarting I couldn't get Safari to work, it kept bouncing but did't open.

    After trying to reboot in safe mode my iMac closed down by itself, I tried several times but couldn't boot in safe mode, it kept shutting down half way through.

    It did boot normal, but took a very long time, and kept reacting slower every time I tried.

    I tried recovery mode and it seemed like my SSD needed a reformat.

    After trying to reboot in recovery mode again it said it couldn't find my HD anymore and I needed to restore it.

    It erased itself and all I'm left with is my SSD it seems.

    After restarting again I now see an icon with a question mark.

    Recovery mode takes ages to start up as well, but it's no use, everything is gone now.


    Does anyone know if this is just a normal HD crash, or could it really be a Trojan horse?

    And will Apple make trouble about my warranty if it's a virus you think?

    All input is much appreciated, this is stressful as hell.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    Have you installed any pirated software lately? There are no OS X viruses in the wild. What makes you suspect a Trojan? Your symptoms don't sound like the result of any malware.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

    Rather than look to malware as the first possibility (it's usually the least likely culprit, since it's relatively rare on OS X), you're better off looking to more appropriate troubleshooting. It does sound more like a drive failure. Do you have a backup?

    A flashing question mark or globe appears when you start your Mac
     
  3. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I think it got worse after reinstalling VLC media player, I downloaded it from Cnet and it installed MacKeeper as well, without me knowing it.

    The problem got worse and my iMac kept getting slower every time I rebooted, which makes it seem as a virus is copying it's code and infecting the system more and more.

    The ?icon only came when my HD went missing.

    I'll need to reinstall everything again.

    No pirated software is was used, I has Sophos antivirus running but it never finished either.

    I know it's rare, but I don't know how rare it exactly is for a Mac to get infected by malware that actually does serious damage.

    I also entered my password with the install of VLC so a Trojan is likely I assume.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    Uninstall MacKeeper. The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
    There are no OS X viruses that could infect your Mac. It's not a virus. Drop that idea, because it's NOT your problem.
    I recommend avoiding Sophos, as it can actually increase a Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here. Read the links I posted earlier about malware and safe computing.
    You do NOT have malware. You're preventing yourself from determining the real problem, because you're fixated on the idea that it's a virus. This is not Windows. There ARE no OS X viruses that can infect your Mac. Installing VLC and even MacKeeper is not going to infect your Mac, unless you got them from a torrent or other dubious site. MacKeeper is useless and potentially problematic software with a terrible reputation, but even that is not malware.
     
  5. 53kyle macrumors 65816

    53kyle

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    #5
    It was definitely just a HD crash, nothing to worry about. I've had it happen to me a couple of times, so I would know. I would boot into recovery mode and reinstall OS X, and if it doesn't work after that, you can replace the HD depending on what model it is.
     
  6. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6

    I can't uninstall MacKeeper, I can't boot my iMac anymore.
    Where I first got a question mark icon, I now heave an image of a forbidden sign.

    Things get weirder every time now.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    I meant uninstall MacKeeper when you get your drive problem resolved. It sounds like your drive failed, which happens. Installing VLC or even MacKeeper didn't cause a drive failure.

    Mac OS X: Gray screen appears during startup
     
  8. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I don't think I have to worry about uninstalling anything anymore, everything is completely gone.

    But thanks for setting that straight, about the virus, this eases my mind somehow.
    There's nothing more for me to do the visiting the Apple store, but I'm still relieved in a way.

    Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate it!
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    I know this doesn't help now, but if you had a bootable backup drive, you would have an easy way to get running again as you work to solve the problems with the internal drive.

    Just something to consider in the future...
     
  10. loekf macrumors 6502

    loekf

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    #10
    I hope it's the HDD, but also be aware that Mackeeper can be called malware as well.... it's a pain to get rid of and is famous for interfering with Saferi (popups etc).
     
  11. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    MacKeeper is not malware, even though it is useless and not advisable to install it. Also, it cannot produce the symptoms that the OP described. It can easily be removed using the link I posted earlier.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #13
    You probably did install some adware with anything you got from CNet. See this article. But that should not have caused the symptoms you are seeing. It does sound like you have a drive failure.
     
  14. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thanks guys,
    I'm aware of the risks from Cnet downloads and Mackeeper, I didn't install it intentionally, it came with the VCL Player download and I installed it without realizing it.

    But I can pick my iMac up tomorrow from the Apple Store, it was indeed a HD crash.

    I hoped it was just the SSD but it wasn't.

    Kinda sucks to have this happen to a 2 year old HD but that's just my luck again.

    I had a defective iPad, was replaced and now it has ghost typing, my iPhone had its battery replaced and the sleep button is malfunctioning now as well.

    My iPod doesn't connect very well to my headphone anymore and my Apple TV was replaced as well.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot, I had my iMacs's glass replaced before because of grey smudges behind the glass.

    So it's not for much of a shock this happened as well.
    I kind of attract bad luck with electronics it seems.

    At least I got rid of Mackeeper quite easy!
     
  15. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #15
    Sounds like you and modern technology don't get along well. Here's an abacus and a tin can. All you need for safe reliable computation and music production. P.S. Don't break the abacus. ;)
     
  16. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #16
    Maybe he should get a job at Apple in hardware/software testing and QA.
     
  17. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #17
    Yep. If it doesn't break for him, then release it to the public :)
     
  18. Glenn82, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Right, so when hardware on your devices malfunction you're labeled as an idiot.
    Got it!

    The sleep button/battery problem is specific to a certain serial number of early iPhone 5 models.

    Same with Apple TV, a certain series of Apple TV's with a specific serial number are known to malfunction and there's a replacement program for them set up by Apple, which means they repair your devices for free if your serial number applies.

    The smudges (grey) behind the iMac's glass is also a well documented problem specific to newer iMac models, suggested to be caused by a heat problem.

    Same with the "ghost writing" problem with the iPad which is speculated to be caused by a too tight cover, which puts too much pressure on the iPad, and can be solved -believe it or not- by getting it out and bending it slightly at the edges towards the Apple logo on the back.It solved the issue on mine.

    A HDD crash isn't something you could prevent either.

    Sure, I had my share of bad luck with Apple, it seems like every problem you can have I got, but that's just my luck I reckon.

    Well, I guess I can add a "purring" fan noise now as well, since I got it back it makes a purring noise now, where it was completely silent before, but of course, I'm sure this is my fault as well.

    It's like saying when a tree crushes your house, a hail storm destroys your car, your cat is being ran over, and your oven catches fire in a span of two years, it's because you're an idiot, not because you happen to have bad luck.

    Yeah, I can do without your misplaced cynicism, thanks.
    Though, I have to admit, you're not completely wrong either.

    ----------



    Well, I know you're kidding, but you have a good point there, the more problems you encounter the more you'll learn from it.
     
  19. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #19
    Sorry if you took that to mean more than I said.

    I was not implying that the failures didn't happen. Just a commentary on bad luck.

    My mother has a problem with cars. Always has. I've never known anyone else who has had so many vehicles have every part die at once. Likewise I've never known anyone who has had so many collisions that weren't their fault. Seems she's on the 6 month replacement cycle for the last 30 years.

    I've been there and seen it. The other drivers apparently like slamming into legally parked unoccupied cars. And somehow it's always hers lol.

    She should walk lol.

    It happens.

    That said, the only computers I've ever had fail in any way have all been Apple computers. I've had thousands of computers from every company you could imagine either in my possession, ownership, or under my management, and sadly the only ones that ever needed servicing were Apple computers.

    Ok, I take that back... I once had a PC need a $2 replacement CMOS battery after 5 years of life in the office. But, that's to be expected.

    I have had 2 Macintosh computers that survived. I still have them. The Mac Pro only required minor repair which I performed. I wasn't taking a chance on getting garbage parts put into the machine when I could fix the manufacturing defect with a soldering iron on my own.
     
  20. Glenn82, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

    Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Yes, when I look back on it there's probably more then one way to interpret your comment, sorry for me being harsh about it, I was probably (I was) a little stressed when I wrote that.

    Well, either that, or I'm so damn cynical myself that I assume everyone else to be so as well.

    You're right, it's strange how we all seem to attract certain situations.
    It's true though, it's not modern technology, but it seems to be rather specific to...

    Hmmm, well... to Apple products actually.:confused:

    And I love them a lot, it's just unfortunate that every problem that can occur I have to deal with.
    Murphy's law isn't exactly easy on me what that concerns, it's unreal.
    I wish I knew a way to reverse that. (not even kidding either).

    Your comment about Apple computers failing so much doesn't give me much hope to be honest.

    You'd expect better quality from a company like that, their service has always been amazing I must say, but it'd be great if I wouldn't need it that much.
     
  21. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #21
    Yes, old Murphy is a pain sometimes. Always stirring up trouble.

    Yes, it is frustrating when you have so many problems with a product you like. I've had some Macs that never stopped failing. So I sold them immediately after getting them back from Apple the last time. Before they could die again.

    One iMac went through a DVD drive, two main boards, 2 screens, 2 power supplies, cooling fans, and a hard drive. When it came back, I put it up for sale and sold it 2 days later. I was done with the unending cycle.

    Unfortunately that is my experience with all but 2 of the Macs I've had. I kept the 2 that didn't die. Like I said, one I repaired myself with a soldering iron because it was a simple fix, and I knew the odds were against me that whatever part Apple put in would be worse.

    My only 100% success story is the Mac Mini G4 that has refused to die, and is still in use today.

    Sadly all my other Macs suffered the same fate as described for the iMac. I probably will never buy another Mac. I like them, but I can't deal with the constant issues.

    I'll use my Mac Pro until it dies. After that, I'll likely be using PC's. I've never once sent a PC to the repair shop. Sad really.

    I have some 15 year old PC's still in use in lesser demanding services. My PC's have always survived until I decided to retire them and get faster machines.
     
  22. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Jesus, I seriously interpreted your initial comment, looks like you know exactly what I'm talking about!

    Apple is so damn powerful, it seems like they really couldn't care less about quality, people will buy their stuff no matter what.

    Though, I've heard a lot of positive stories as well, people with no problems what so ever, so your mom's car problem analogy is a great example on how some people attract certain problems, while other's don't, I just hope it's not irreversible.
     
  23. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #23
    To an extent, Apple does ignore problems that have existed for generations of a given product. The iMac and MacBook Pro series is a good example. There are problems with both machines that have been documented across generations. Some issues eventually get worked out. Many end up going through class action suits to get them addressed.

    One iMac I had was a similar victim. It had issues that Apple refused to acknowledge as manufacturing defects. If you managed to get them to replace the main board, they just stuck another refurb in there with the same problems. As long as they refused to fix the defect, all parts had the same defect. So if you and I both sent in for repair, all that happened was I got your defective part, and you got my defective part.

    It wasn't until about a year after I no longer had the machine, that Apple finally was forced to admit that the components they chose were defective from the beginning. Not that it did me any good.

    Apple is quick to offer repair and exchange. But they are slow to fix the cause of the defect. For example, we've got tons of discussions in here about people putting their main boards in ovens to address the soldering issues.

    One benefit of the PC industry is that it is constantly evolving. Computers change nearly monthly to keep up with new hardware.

    Apple updates annually or occasionally at 6 months or sometimes less frequently (sometimes 2 or 3 years later for certain machines). That strategy means that the computer you buy could be unchanged from the original version from 1 to 3 years ago. That's a long time for a computer model to be unchanged in component parts, manufacturing methods, etc.

    So Apple's method means that problems with a design will remain unfixed for potentially 1 to 3 years. There are also fewer generations to work out the bugs / design issues. If the problem wasn't fully resolved, it may be another 1 to 3 years before a modified design is again released. So, if a design problem occurs, it could take 3 to 9 years for Apple to go through enough revisions to work the problem out of the machines.

    PC's by comparison change nearly monthly. Problems with a machine today are likely to be resolved quickly. If for no other reason than the manufacturer has already moved on to other parts by next month. For example, I got a new laptop computer about 2 months ago. I was at the store yesterday, and needed to check specs on something else I was buying in electronics. The box was all in some foreign language. So I went over to the displayed computers to use the Internet. Eventually I noticed the brand and model number of the computer I was using, and it matched my computer. However, I would have never suspected that this machine was the same one I purchased 2 months ago. It's changed that much.

    There's a reason why when a problem is discovered that you have to run your PC's serial number and revision date to see if you are affected. Whereas once Apple has been forced by class action to address a problem, they can simply say 2012 MacBook Pro.
     
  24. Glenn82 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    That makes perfect sense of course.
    For them not fixing a certain problem for generations to come is hard to understand for me, but I heard this before, not acceptable what I'm concerned, but I guess there's nothing to do about that.

    That was a lot of detailed and interesting information, I really appreciate it!
     
  25. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #25
    You're welcome. It would be nice if design issues were resolved quickly. But Apple is Apple.

    The only way to make change, is with your wallet. Enough people will put up with the issues out of loyalty or sometimes just stubbornness. As long as Apple can sell to those who will buy just because it's Apple, there's no incentive for them to change.

    I used to help on the Apple discussions. But that was very frustrating. Every time someone asked how to fix a problem that was a manufacturing defect that Apple hadn't acknowledged, their questions were deleted by Apple. Even when the user said nothing bad about Apple or the product. Apple censors to create a favorable impression. If you have a legitimate problem, or are having trouble getting it resolved, Apple censors and erases all evidence of the question.

    Fortunately that doesn't happen much here. But, then the devoted fans tend to bash those who have problems with defective products.

    It's been great talking with you. And I do wish you the best of luck in the future. Here's to finally catching Murphy, and dropping him off a tall building ;)

    Been nice meeting you. Maybe we'll bump into each other in another thread :)
     

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