Hackers use malicious Windows file to access MacOS

Mouse pointer hovering over the work security

Hackers are utilizing the file type “.exe” to unload malicious software onto MacOS powered computers. As the article linked below mentions, by default, .exe files won’t run on a Mac. The malicious download worked around this limitation by bundling the .exe file with a free framework known as Mono. Mono allows Windows executables to run on MacOS, Android, and a variety of other operating systems.

Users should be cautious of downloading any software from insecure resources such as Torrent sites. Torrent sites provide users with the ability to download any type of software, movies, games, etc, which leads to a “Wild West” scenario, where all bets are off with the type of files that you’re actually downloading.

It’s also wise to ensure children are not accessing these sites either, and to block access to Torrent resources on company networks.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/02/clever-trick-uses-windows-executable-file-to-install-malicious-payload-on-macs/

8 Tips to keep your Cell Phone charged when the power goes out

iPhone charging

Whether you’re going to be away from a typical power source for a while, or suddenly fall victim to a long-lasting power outage, there are several things you can do to make sure your cell phone continues to be available. Cell phone power can be ironic: always charged when you don’t need it but when you need it most, the battery dies!

Here are a few tips…

  • Always ensure your phone is charged, especially if it has an older battery (and consider getting a new battery installed if possible, if you don’t plan on getting a new phone in the near future).
  • Make sure that a device such as a laptop, which has an internal battery, is fully charged. In an emergency, you can use the laptop to charge the phone.
  • A separate fully-powered USB storage bank can provide peace of mind. In the event of long-lasting power outages, there are also chargers with solar and hand crank capabilities to keep phones available for emergency calls.
  • Another inexpensive piece of hardware is an adapter for the power port (“cigarette lighter”) in most automobiles, for those older vehicles that don’t have built-in USB ports.
  • Enabling Low Power Mode on an iPhone, by going through the Settings App and selecting the Battery setting, will help conserve power. Further, turning on “Auto Lock” in the Settings can also help with power consumption, locking the screen automatically after a user-defined time.
  • Of course, not excessively using the phone, especially with watching videos or surfing the Internet, is a wise choice.
  • Double-clicking the Home button on the iPhone, and swiping up on any applications currently open in the background that you are no longer using, will prevent them from causing further battery drain.
  • Finally, if you have the ability, you can visit a local coffee shop, restaurant or grocery store for power charging and WIFI use. If using WIFI, it is wise to put your phone on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to beef up the security, as most public places do not have adequate computer network security to protect the data that you are sending and receiving (we’ll save that discussion for another blog post). Just expect that wherever you may visit, seating (and power outlets) may be at a premium!

Beware Malicious Internet Browser extensions

A quick summary from the article of steps to take in regards to browser extensions that can be installed for Chrome and other similar Web browsers:

  • Don’t install software that you cannot read and asks for intrusive permissions.
  • If something seems off, it probably is. Evaluate what might cause your user journey to change.
  • Periodically evaluate what extensions you have on your browser — remove those you don’t use anymore.
  • If you have an extension on your browser that you use, seek an open-source version/alternative or disable automatic updates from the Chrome store — make sure you audit the code or find someone reliable and trustworthy to.

https://medium.com/mycrypto/the-dangers-of-malicious-browser-extensions-ef9c10f0128f

Protect Your Gear From the Effects of the Cold

Image of snowflake

On cold days like this, give your electronics time to warm up before turning them on. And turn them off before transporting.

Condensation can build up inside cold electronics when brought into a warm environment. Additionally, extreme and rapid temperature changes can damage gear. This is more likely to happen when using devices that are cold because they heat up well beyond room temperature very quickly. Causing expansion at rates beyond design specs.

Heed this advice and your equipment may last longer and give you less trouble.