My MAC is HACKED beyond my control

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    • #177640

      Hello there,

      Hope someone here has the knowledge to help me secure my macbook pro 2019 edition.

      In my current situation I have no access to my router, so I assume the hackers have full control of my network.

      My MAC was hacked, so i went into recovery mode, deleted partiontions and formated the HD, then reinstailled macOS from scratch.

      After installation was completed, I closed the firewall and installed bitdefender and VPN. Did a complete scan and it found nothing.

      I installed nothing else.

      Couple of hours after the hackers where right back in, (im not imagining things) – activating drop downs, changing movie files and adjusting volume. ETC. Messing with me.

      Downloaded MacOS to a external USB and did the install again. With the same result. Hackers were right back in, with ease.

      So my question is.

      1) How the heck is this possible??

      2) How can I secure my mac then?

      Hope some wizard here, has an easy solution – so I can get some peace of mind.


    • #177807
      Michael J. Conway

      This may sounds dumb but did you bother to patch the system after doing a clean install? Chances are that if all you did was a clean install, you left the same hole in place that your mischievous friends used in the first place.

      With that said, I am not a Mac guy. However, there are some things you can do regardless of the system you use. First off, patch the system regularly. New weaknesses are found all the time in software and not just the OS but in software like Adobe. The best thing you can do there is keep your software up to date. The next thing, keep you AV software definitions up to date. An AV is not a silver bullet but it will help. The problem with most AV solutions is that they rely on signatures to detect bad software. This means that they have to know that it is bad to detect it. Next, a VPN can help you maintain privacy while surfing the web but doesn’t really add anything to protecting your system from bad actors. It protects the privacy of what you send out over the wire and that is about it. Next, back up the important files and directories regularly. This makes recovery a bit easier and slightly less painful. If backup isn’t really an option, you can probably use a Cloud service for those files such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. There are others and Apple probably has their own solution.

      So back to your Mac problem: you may have to do the full purge gain like you did. Once the reinstall from trusted media is complete, set a strong password on the administrative account. Then patch like your life depends on it. Patch until there re no patches left to apply.

      While doing this, you may want to use a different WiFi hotspot from your WiFi hotspot since you indicated that you have no access to it. That tells me that it is somewhat untrustworthy. It is possible that your malicious friends changed it to give out a tainted DNS server along with IP addresses when a system signs into that WiFi network. Even if they didn’t, that you are having this same problem two times in a row indicates that you should do something different.

      Now back to the network issue. That is more troubling and requires looking into. It may be time to replace that access point and start from scratch with setting it up secure form the start. That is a topic for a different day.

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