Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Internet security scares can happen to professionals, too

Security is something everyone should be running, and there’s proof that it can hit even the computers you’d probably not expect to suffer from.

Every time we talk about internet security with someone, the person facing us winces. There’s something about internet security that just isn’t comfortable to talk about, possibly because we know we’re spending something on a means to protect that may or may not help.

In a way, you can like internet security to insurance, because the security mechanisms delivered by security providers — constantly updating security signatures, and the scanning and removal engines that makes internet security effective — only really become something worth paying for when you see them work. That is to say, it only feels like a great purchase when they block a nasty from infecting your computer and they tell you about it, almost as if they proudly proclaim “we just stopped your computer from being the puppet from someone else”.

That makes internet security one of those things we have to have, but don’t necessarily like paying for, like getting shots or having some small surgery like installing a crown at the dentist.

The frustrating thing about security woes is that they can affect anyone, from regular Joe to the experienced app developer, and it doesn’t matter what operating system you’re on, either. While Windows was for a long time the most popular attack vector for malware and ransomware, MacOS isn’t immune either, and the recent tale of a video application’s developer should make anyone wake up and smell the malware-scented coffee (we wouldn’t recommend that blend, either).

Steven Frank, developer of an assortment of highly popular development apps for MacOS including “Coda” and “Transmit” — as well as a co-developer on adventure title “Firewatch” — recently caught himself in a bit of a kerfuffle, and while not the same, it serves as a warning to highlight the importance of security.

Instead of being hacked or scammed directly, a slightly dodgy version of an app he had installed was updated on his computer, allowing the broken version to replace the good version. As you can probably imagine, the broken app was filled with malware, and this basically gave scammers the keys to his computer, causing Frank to take his Mac offline.

“As soon as I discovered the infection on my Mac, I disabled it, took the Mac out of commission, and we began the incredibly lengthy process of changing all of my passwords,” he wrote on his blog.

Frank’s tale is a little different from your conventional infected story because he’s a developer and has different needs, but it cites the importance of security on all computers regardless of the operating system and user skill level.

Essentially it comes down to this: if you don’t think you’ll ever get infected, it can happen to anyone, even the pros building the apps in the first place, so grab some security and move past the issue of paying for that insurance. You’ll be thankful you did.

Read next