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Multiple headaches after malware invasion

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Sigh.... I spent so many wonderful years with Apple products thinking I was protected - which I was, except from my own stupidity.

Yes, in a moment of inattention, I clicked on the Flash Player Update pop-up and then, horror, I actually clicked on the installer package !! And then the fun and games started.

This is on my main machine, a late-2015 iMac running High Sierra. The malware froze my Safari, which I got back by starting up in Safe Mode. It has now infected Microsoft Outlook - as yes, I again clicked on "Close" in that AutoUpdate popup box which looked so legit.

I saw advice on Adobe's site that amounted to a total wipe of the hard disk and re-install, after having saved documents and other important data on external hard drives. Is that really the only way ?

Also, I am petrified that I will lose my email data associated with my MS Outlook account. I admit that I don't understand the various ways to organise email in that program, so I'm not sure what is where. I tried to export the MS Outlook data to an .olm file but the export action just stopped in mid-field.

I also changed admin passwords on both computers as well as the name and password associated with my router (since this "thing" obviously comes over the internet into Safari and Firefox).

Luckily I do have this Macbook 12 which is apparently OK. But does it risk infection from the router ?

So many questions, and I don't know what first steps to take.

A friend said that Apple recommended running Malwarebytes to scan for viruses, would that be useful ?

And if you find them, what do you do?

Many thanks for any and all advice !

AM
 

krs


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I would run MalwareBytes, can't hurt.
Just make sure you download the app from a legit site if you don't have the app on your Mac already.

If something however infected your router, I don't think malwarebytes will find that - it will only find malware on your Mac.
 

Raz0rEdge

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Malwarebytes is not an Apple recommendation, but rather one that is recommended by users such as us. You run it and when it finds the bad things on your machine you allow it to clean it out for you.

Unlike viruses, malware traditionally don't tend to spread amongst your computers in your home network, so your other machines are likely safe as long as you don't click on random pop-ups again.

Speaking of pop-ups, you absolutely should be running some combination of Ghostery, uBlock Origin, Adblock on your browser to prevent any of these badness.

As as as Email goes, it all depends how you are connecting to your mail server. If through IMAP, then you have nothing to worry and no need to export since you will get it all when you re-connect later on. If through POP, then you need to backup before you re-install. If you are going to an exchange server, then I believe all the info is on the server as well.
 
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Thanks krs and Ashwin. Your comments calmed me down some :).
I finally managed to export my Outlook files (by just being patient) : what I was worried about was inter alia finding my emails in a huge jumble instead of in the folders I have created for them.

In the meantime, I have decided to trade the old iMac (late-2015) in for a new, improved model, after finding out that the former is under a vendor insurance program that will pay for 2/3 of the new one's price !

As I'm in a hurry to do that, I could not wait for six hours to sign my old machine out of iCloud. So I removed the device from the list of my devices that use iCloud. I hope that will be equivalent to signing out. I could not find any online advice about the difference between signout and removing a device.

Ann
 

IWT


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Yes. That'll do! It's basically the same. As long as your old Mac is NOT in any way associated with your Apple ID, then the next user should have no problems.

Ian
 
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Yes. That'll do! It's basically the same. As long as your old Mac is NOT in any way associated with your Apple ID, then the next user should have no problems.

Ian
Hello all from my new iMac ! The transition was much smoother than I had anticipated. Not only did the new machine set up all my old applications and files immediately, but I was able to load Office 365 including Outlook and my emails populated within a few minutes, right where they should have been.

When things work right, it is just fabulous !

The only strange thing was that when I was first setting the new one up, after naming the new one and giving it a password, it asked for the password for "Other iMac". The only other one I could imagine was the old one, so I entered its password and the machine was happy. What have I done :Oops:? But I am not too worried because I really did strip the old one down to its skivvies. I didn't even have time to re-install macOS but the vendor didn't care.

I checked the Apple ID page and the old computer doesn't appear there.

Ashwin Raz0rEdge said I should "absolutely" be running an adware blocker on my browser. Really? If that's the case, anyone have a favorite to suggest?

Thanks,

Ann
 

krs


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Ashwin Raz0rEdge said I should "absolutely" be running an adware blocker on my browser. Really? If that's the case, anyone have a favorite to suggest?

Thanks,

Ann
It probably depends on which browser you're using.

My main browser right now is FireFox and I don't run a separate adware blocker - maybe FF has something built in.

But I remember years ago, when I did run a separate adware blocker, a website occasionally wouldn't open legitimate pop-ups that I needed to see.

Why don't you run the mac and browser the way it is and see if ads become a problem.
 
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Thanks ! That's one option I was seriously considering .
 
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