“Ah, the holidays: Good food, good conversation, and — if you’re in my line of work — a healthy helping of familial tech troubleshooting,” Serenity Caldwell writes for iMore. “This year’s Big Tech Problem came in the form of my soon-to-be father-in-law’s MacBook Pro: He’d been running into curious slowdowns for a two-year-old laptop.”

Caldwell writes, “Upon further investigation, I found a couple of self-professed ‘Mac security programs’ that popped up, demanding money to ‘clean your Mac from junk.'”

“Spoiler: These programs were the junk,” Caldwell writes. “Now, I want to preface: I’d never seen an attack like this on a Mac before in my life, and finding this kind of full-Mac hijack is very rare. It’s likely that he accidentally installed one of these “security” programs (or had it installed), which spiraled out of control from there. These hijacks didn’t appear to be able to do much beyond slow down his machine with endless failed attempts to run a program — the process didn’t have admin permissions, so it couldn’t execute a thing from the library. But because they were there, they were constantly crashing aspects of his Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tell your less-technical family and friends to stick to Apple’s Mac App Store. Macs are amazing machines. Don’t gunk them up with snake oil!

Malwarebytes warns of new Mac malware that could fool less-technical users – August 19, 2016
Don’t waste your money on OS X snake oil for your Mac – July 28, 2015
How to detect and remove MacKeeper and keylogger malware on your Mac – July 17, 2015
Controversial MacKeeper security program opens critical hole on Mac computers – May 12, 2015
What ‘MacKeeper’ is and why you should avoid it – January 21, 2015
How to uninstall MacKeeper from your Mac – December 19, 2014