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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Want to reformat without anything being left over


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New2TheMac

 
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I'm planning to do a reformat soon and I want to do it in a way where nothing gets left behind. Specifically I'm talking about trojans/malware which unfortunately got on my computer because I left my password laying around and company hopped on my Macbook. I know I can zero out the hard drive, but would would any trojans/malware be able to survive that? Would they be able to infect the bios?
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Slydude

 
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Zeroing should get rid of everything. If you try one of the multi pass options be prepared for it to take a long time.

Just out of curiosity what behavior are you seeing that convinces you that you have picked up malware/trojans?

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osxx

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
Zeroing should get rid of everything. If you try one of the multi pass options be prepared for it to take a long time.

Just out of curiosity what behavior are you seeing that convinces you that you have picked up malware/trojans?
+2 it has my curiosity as well.
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New2TheMac

 
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Company was over yesterday and they brought their kids. They asked if they could use the computer and I said yes figuring 20 something year olds should be smart enough with using the computer and also thinking it would be ok since Macs are more secure. Now I realize I shouldn't have done this but I keep my password written down close to the computer in case I forget it. They ended up going on a website which they say they can't remember the name of (which I still highly doubt) and then came to me saying they couldn't get a video to load even though they installed a codec for it. I asked how they installed a codec and after hounding them for the answer they admitted they found and used my password. I was livid to say the least, especially after using the DNS remover tool from Securmac which found something. I learned a lesson the hard way about how stupid of me it is to keep my password so close to the computer and about trust. I just decided to reformat because who knows what else they messed with. And trust me, I don't plan on letting anyone else use my Mac again, or keeping the password written down.

So as I said I did do a reformat, but do I have anything to worry about now? On windows there are viruses which can infect the bios so even doing a reformat won't get rid of this. Supposedly there aren't any viruses on the Mac but could trojans or anything else have infected my Mac bios? Do I have anything to worry about (besides who I let use my Mac)?
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Collin Bl

 
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With Snow Leopard and Leopard you have the choice of Guest Account for any visitors. Set that up as well as Fast User switching ahead of time and then you can allow others to use your computer but keep Admin for yourself.
The 20 y-olds would be smart enough to be dangerous IMHO
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chas_m

 
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1. Chances are your machine is completely uninfected with anything. There are no Mac viruses, but there IS one bit of malware that could be gotten by trying to download a "video codec" that claims to allow you to watch free porn. I wouldn't (obviously) put this past immature 20-something-year-olds, but they'd have REALLY had to have been on the hunt for this ONE SPECIFIC MALWARE TRICK and worked REALLY fast to get it on your Mac, so again I think the odds are against it (though that would explain why they "can't remember" the site they went to).

2. Nothing has infected your Mac BIOS, mainly because the Mac doesn't have BIOS to infect (but also because no trojan/malware/virus exists for the Mac that can affect the deeper levels of the system).

3. You know, this is exactly WHY there's a "Guest Account" available in Leopard and Snow Leopard, though I guess that may not have stopped them in this case ... anyway, next time, use the "Guest Account" option, it's safe and disposable.
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New2TheMac

 
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From now on if I do let anyone else use my Mac...and after this ordeal that's a big if, I'll make them use a guest account.

I did something which I'm sure people will say is unnecessary, but after this I'm just paranoid. I downloaded and installed iAntivirus. I got it off of Cnet's website, but there are 2 things that happened which I'd like to ask if they seem normal for you. When installing iAntivirus it didn't ask me where I wanted to install it but said it would be installed for all users. Does that seem normal? Also, after using it and messing around in 1 pane it sort of locked up and wouldn't go back to the iantivirus home screen. I restarted the computer and it seems to be fine, but are chances that it was just a glitch/freeze, or could it be something bad?

Also, what can I do for sure to know I'm safe. I have some online banking to do but after this I'm a nervous wreck. I feel like I'd almost rather die than for identity theft to occur.
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the8thark

 
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I think it's best to remove the iAntivirus from your computer. There are no virii for OS X and hence no virii definitions for the antivirus to look up. It'll just be a process on your mac acting as a recource hog. Just delete iAntivirus. And get this instead.

Onyx - for your version of OS X.
Titanium Software

Read the documentation for it well. But that is one of the best things to keep your mac healthy these days. it's a Mac maintanance application. And in my opinion that's all you need.
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dtravis7

 
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That codec is usually found on a PORN video site! It's a DNS redirector which will redirect you to a different web sight URL then the one you typed in.

Never leave your Admin password where people can steal it. Even on OSX.

I think the guest account is a great idea for your friends.
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