True/False: Apple products cannot get viruses, malware, or hacked. False. And this story proves it.

Julianna's MacBook is virus-free!

Julianna Fields, a new intern at Responsive Technology Partners brought in her laptop after having issues searching on Google. Malware (malicious software) was uncovered on her MacBook laptop that had been downloaded two years prior. When she used Google to search the web (through the Google Chrome or Safari applications), her search would be redirected to a site called “search.marquis.” Julianna didn’t realize this was that big of an issue, merely thinking she hadn’t set up Google as her default browser. “It was so annoying. I just didn’t know how to fix it or even where to have someone look at it. I just thought I had saved “search.marquis” somewhere on my computer. I never expected it to be malware.” She further added, “I saw a video on social media about accessing Netflix videos from the UK that we didn’t have here in the United States. I went to the link and downloaded the video player they were talking about. That’s where I think I got this virus.”


Brandon makes the tech world a safer place!

The malware was uncovered by Brandon Jackson, a technician at Responsive Technology Partners. Brandon started with the company in January 2021 but has been in the technology field since he was 15 years old as a self-employed PC support guru. From a technician’s point of view, this is what happened: “The user noticed their Google search was being hijacked and forwarded to a third party. Potentially anything she was searching for, or any sites found via those searches, may not have been authentic sites. So, any data entered into those sites could have been sent to a third party.” This means that if the user had visited her online bank account through “search.marquis,” the third-party posing as a search engine could also reveal a false online banking account that looks like the real portal she usually uses. Then, when she enters her information- it will be collected by the malicious poser. “This kind of thing is somewhat common and usually happens when clicking on malicious links. This is called a Trojan Horse attack which is any malware that misleads the user of it’s true intent.” Brandon ran malware tools that were able to detect and remove the malware to fix the computer to run at factory level. “MacBooks are not invulnerable, they can be just as vulnerable as a Windows PC. In the past, Apple held a smaller market share, so they weren’t targeted as much. Even Apple has referenced that their iPhones are more safe and secure because of the App Store, but Macs are not because there is no App Store.”

Antivirus, anti-malware, and expert help is still needed for Apple products. Not to mention, over the last year, MacOS malware has increased by 165%. We suggest the same advice for Apple users and Windows users alike- do not click on random links.