Virus/hacker? Thank god for time machine!

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Jakobben, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Jakobben macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    Yesterday when i turned my iMac on and tried to sync my iPad, I realized that all my music, movies and almost all my apps where missing. I checked the location in finder, and tried to search for them, but they were all gone. Thankfully I had a good, recent time machine backup, so the restore took 4 hours and I’ve lost almost nothing.

    The question is how this could have happened… I wasn’t like I deleted the entire iTunes library, because many of the folders were still there in Finder – they were just empty.
    I’m not new to file systems or iTunes, and would never have done this by accident without knowing about it. I’m the only person with access to that iMac, so I can only see three options:

    1) iTunes somehow “decided” to delete everything in the library.
    2) Virus
    3) Hacker

    Am I missing something?
    Has anyone ever heard of anything like this?

    (I’m running Lion, and updated to iOS 5 on Thursday last week. This happened sometime during the weekend or Monday I think)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Virus or hacker sounds extremely unlikely. Not just because of the fact that there are zero widespread viruses for OS X, but also because viruses and hackers aim to generate money. Deleting your files won't bring any money, so if it was a hacker, he would most likely be after your credit card info and similar stuff.

    It might be a bug in Lion/iOS 5, Snow Leopard had a bug which erased external HDs.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    As Hellhammer said, no hacker would benefit from deleting your music. The possibility that someone would ever care to hack your computer is so remote, it's not worth thinking about.

    The fact that the folders remained sounds more like the music was deleted from iTunes, because deleting music from iTunes (as opposed to Finder) would leave folders. iTunes won't delete any of your music unless you tell it to via keystrokes or mouse or trackpad. The most likely possibility is that you or the sync settings inadvertently deleted it.
  4. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    Sometimes files and etc can randomly disappear if the filesystem has become corrupted.

    Boot off your install disk (or recovery partition in Lion).

    Use Disk Utility (found via the Utilities drop down menu on the menu bar once booted from disk) to verify disk for filesystem errors.

    If errors exist, try to repair the errors using repair disk.

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