Why would Apple support install Adobe flash & Malwarebytes?

mekump

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
21
0
My mother-in-law called Apple support because while browsing with safari a pop-up came up saying that her computer has been taken over and she needed to call a 1-888 number to have it fixed. She knows not to call and she knows not to click on pop-ups, so she closed safari. This has happened a few times before. She called Apple support who installed Adobe flash and Malwarebytes on her laptop. They than ran Malwarebytes and it didn't find anything. They had her check a few other things, not sure what since she doesn't remember, and they told her everything checked out and there was no malware installed on her computer.

It happened again yesterday. She called me and I had her open safari preferences and click on 'Manage website data'. I than had her click on the 'remove all' button. As usual it didn't remove all. Not sure why this is, but I see it on my laptop too. I walked her through removing everything in the safari databases directory. Now when she clicks on 'Manage website data' nothing shows up as expected. I also had her check to make sure the firewall was on. It wasn't, so I had her turn it on. Not sure why this is, because last time she contacted Apple support they also had her enable the firewall. What could be disabling it?

I would like to recommend she install a safari extension that maybe would block these types of pop-ups. Is anyone aware of a good extension that blocks pop-ups? Anyone use or are familiar with the safari extension 'TrafficLight'? Any good?

tia,
Michael
 

IHelpId10t5

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2014
477
314
Thanks again.
I'll have her install it and see if that helps.
A far better extension is "uBlock Origin". Simply read the reviews for uBlock Origin vs. Adblock Plus and you will find out why. In addition, by all means uninstall Flash from any and all Macs. Flash is an unnecessary steaming pile of crap that is a vector for all kinds of obnoxious advertising and threats on the web.
 
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Ulenspiegel

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2014
3,070
2,268
Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
Well, nowdays an adblock app or extension is a must. Nevertheless, they are not perfect by far.
I use Adguard, it turned out to be the most effective one in my case.
Malwarebytes anti-malware for Mac is good against browser hijackers. It does no harm as it is an on-demand app.
Last, but not least, you might have checked you mother-in-law's extension library and remove all suspicious and/or unknown entries.
 

mekump

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
21
0
Thanks for all the replies.

She has uninstalled adobe flash and installed the Adblock plus extension for safari. We'll see how this goes and try a different ad blocker if this doesn't work.
 

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,023
141
To the OP's original question, Apple was working to see if her system was infected. As replies have said, it most likely was a pop-up that was trying to get her to call them and let them gain access to her system. The OP's mother is smart and called Apple instead.
 

mekump

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
21
0
To the OP's original question, Apple was working to see if her system was infected. As replies have said, it most likely was a pop-up that was trying to get her to call them and let them gain access to her system. The OP's mother is smart and called Apple instead.
Nothing against Malwarebytes, but I guess I am surprised Apple support doesn't have something of their own in their arsenal. Still not sure why they would install Adobe flash.
 

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,023
141
Nothing against Malwarebytes, but I guess I am surprised Apple support doesn't have something of their own in their arsenal. Still not sure why they would install Adobe flash.
Apple Support would have to answer and they are likely not following the forum.

One possibility is to get the latest version on the system to remove it as a point of contention but to blindly install it is strange, yes.

Sadly there are still many sites that require Flash. I would LOVE to be rid of it but it still is a thing.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,955
1,638
Australia, Perth
if u wanna switch to Firefox, uBlock origion... they basically use the same ad-block plus back-end i think anyway.

I'm surprised Apple *recommended* installing Flash, when they cover so much to prevent it. Not just on iOS but it would slow down Mac as well.

Malware bytes is what Apple recommends for getting rid of malware etc.. and the first point of call they tell customers as its often easier then a reinstall completely or set up a second user, (which is what they'll say next)