If you are a Mac owner you might want to keep an eye out for the new Thunderstrike 2 worm. Thunderstrike 2 is a newly improved version of the original worm which infected Windows PCs. The new malware version is very difficult to deal with, so here’s everything you need to know about it and how to protect yourself.
First of all, the main reason why you want to avoid it is because the threat is hard to eliminate. Thunderstrike 2 can transfer in between two Macs without being connected to the internet. It is relatively stealthy and can escape scanning software, it can persist even if you reformat and it can practically “burn” components of your Mac, making them unusable.
The worm targets the ROM option on peripherals like SSDs and Ethernet sticks and can spread by connecting the infected device to another Mac. It can also be transferred via email or malicious sites.
Apple reported to have patched some security measures, but it is not known yet whether the changes were included in the OS X 10.10.2 update or if Mac users should wait for another patch specially dedicated to Thunderstrike 2. Until further notice this malware remains a threat.
The question is what you can do in order to protect yourself. The first obvious suggestions are to stay away from malicious sites and to be careful with emails coming from other Mac devices that you know. You can always ask someone whether they had a problem or not, there is no shame in that.
In case your Mac did get infected, make sure you have the internet connection cut off from it and put it in a place that is far away from other Mac devices in case you own them. You should also take into consideration that all SSDs or Ethernet sticks that came in contact with the infected device are dangerous and should not share them with anybody else.
If you decide to reformat your Mac, make sure that you do not share the SSD that you used for it as it might still be infected even if your Mac looks ok. However, you will be able to tell if your PC is fine or not because Thunderstrike 2 displays a logo when you boot your device.
If you took all these measures and still did not manage to take care of the pesky worm you need not worry. It’s only a matter of time until Apple release a final security patch to deal with it.
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