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iOS 10.3 Wi-Fi vulnerability - Urgent 10.3.3 update available

Apple released an update to iOS 10 on July 19, 2017 to address a vulnerability in the Wi-Fi cards in all "current" models of iPhones and iPads (see below for specific models). You are encouraged to update your iOS 10 devices to 10.3.3 as soon as possible. 

Although Apple does not mention the exact exploit by name in their security notes for the patch, modern iPhones and iPads all use the same Broadcom Wi-Fi chips. A flaw in these chips (known as "Broadpwn") makes it possible for a nearby hacker to take control of the chip and even "run code in the main application processor". 

You can read more about the flaw here: AppleInsider

The Broadcom BCM43xx family of wifi chips are used in many modern smart phones, including Andriod and every iPhone from the iPhone 5 to iPhone 7, as well as 4th-gen iPad and later, and iPod Touch 6th gen.

Please contact DesignCorp immediately if you have any concerns related to this exploit.  


Ransomware Hits the Mac OS

Until very recently, serious malware (like ransomware) was very rarely seen on a Mac "in the wild". The nasty viruses that infect not only desktop computers, but crawl across corporate networks and onto file servers was reserved almost exclusively for Windows users. Ransomware usually hides itself within somewhat legitimate software installers, and once on a computer it begins locking documents with encryption keys. The only fix is to delete all of those files and restore them from backup. And if you don't have backups, the only other option is to pay the ransom demands. 

On March 4th, security company Palo Atlo Networks discovered ransomware code-named KeRanger embedded in an application called Transmission. Transmission is a peer-to-peer bit torrent client that is available from the Mac App Store and signed by Apple. Version 2.90 of this software somehow became infected and slipped thru the vetting process. 

So what can you do to prepare for the increase in adware, malware, and viruses on the Mac?

1- Avoid junkware and free software:
Much of the adware we've seen in recent years comes wrapped up in junkware like free fonts, coupon tools, and other "free" software. Stick to professional software from known, trusted developers. And properly vet any software you're considering installing. 

2- Avoid peer-to-peer sharing:
Software and services that involve peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing technology in almost all cases has no business purpose, and opens you up to all kinds of nastyness. Bit torrent sharing of "data" is a risky endeavor and should be avoided.

3- BACK UP!!
Backups are critical. Ransomware leaves you no choice but to pay up, or restore from backup. Be prepared! In an effort to ensure victims pay the ransom, KeRanger malware apparently attempts to also infect Time Machine backups. DesignCorp strongly recommends backing up to a cloud backup service, in addition to local disk backups. 

4- Install Virus Protection
Mac users have been spoiled by not being targets for so long, and many of us have skipped installing virus protection, leaving the protection up to Apple's built-in Gatekeeper, and just hoping that we won't be a target. Those days are gone, and unfortunately, along with growing popularity, comes the headaches of malware. Consider installing a good Mac security suite to protect you from adware, viruses, and other malicious activity. If you need help finding a strong but light-weight virus protection software, DesignCorp can help. 

So be prepared, and be vigilant! 



Creating a ZIP Archive

Often it's useful to compress a file (or group of files) into a ZIP formatted archive. This is helpful when trying to reduce file size for electronic delivery, or when you want to package a lot of files neatly into one container. Another great reason to use .zip archives is to simplify sharing files with Windows users.  

One other benefit of archiving items is to avoid email delivery problems. Often file attachments will get flagged by mail servers as junk, even when they are not. If you create a ZIP archive before you attach files to an email, you will greatly simplify delivery.


To create a ZIP archive, follow these steps:

1- Locate the file, group of files, or folder containing the documents you want archived.

2- Select all of the items you want contained in the ZIP archive (this can be a single file, folder or group of items).

3- Right click (or hold the Control key while clicking) on any one file you just selected.

4- From the pop-up menu, choose "Compress...(file name)..."  On older operating systems this may say "Archive...". 

5- If you chose one file or folder, a new compressed archive file will be created with the exact same name, ending in .zip. Or, if you had multiple items selected, it will be called "". The archive file will be located in the same location as the originals.

6- You can rename the archive something appropriate, just be sure NOT to remove the .zip from the end of the file.  



Force Restart (Resetting) your iPad or iPhone

Many iOS related issue can be resolved by resetting your device. The Reset (or Force Restart) can fix issues that a soft restart (using the power off slider) will not. Although the process is called "resetting", you should not lose any data from the device, nor will you lose any settings. 

If you're having trouble with your iPad or iPhone, try this process to reset it:

- Hold both the Power and Home buttons until the screen goes black and then you see the white Apple logo.

   (If you first see the red slider alert
    to power off,  ignore that and keep
    holding both buttons) 



iOS - Close Background Apps

Many users are not aware that some apps on your iPhone and iPad can remain active, even after you leave that app or switch to another. Multi-tasking allows your iOS device to do things like let you continue a phone call while you look something up, or continue turn-by-turn navigation while in another app. 

Many apps do not continue to use system resources after you leave them, but in some cases, apps running in the background cause shorter battery life, and others can cause your device to become unstable. It's a good idea to periodically Quit all of the recent apps on your device to maintain optimum performance. Follow these steps: 

1-  From the Home screen, click the Home button twice. This will open a row at the bottom of your device called the recent applications bar. (Just because an app is listed here does not necessarily mean it's still running).

2-  Tap and hold on any one of the apps in the bar until they start to jiggle.

3-  Now tap the red minus icon on each app to close them one-by-one.

4-  When you're done, double-click the Home button to exit the multi-tasking bar.




iOS - Force Quit an App

From time to time, apps on your iPhone or iPad can become unresponsive, or behave eratically. Often the fix is to restart that application. To force an App on your iOS device to quit, follow these steps:

1.  If you're not already in it, open the App you're having trouble with.

2.  Hold down the Power button at the top of the device until the red “Slide to Power Off” message appears and then release the power button. 
(Do not slide the slider) 

 3.  Now hold the Home button on the front of the device for a few seconds, until the app forcibly quits. You will be returned to the Home screen.

4.  Try launching that application again to see if your problem is resolved. 



Delete a Saved Password (Keychain Entry)

If your Mail program or Server connection is constantly asking you to re-enter your password, even when you've asked it to remember your password, you may have a corrupt Keychain entry. To fix this issue, delete the entry:


1- Quit the affected application or disconnect from the File Server.


2- Launch the Keychain Access application located here:

/Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities/


3- Search for the entry in question:

- for an email password problem, sort the list by Kind, and scroll
down to the "Internet Passwords" and delete ONLY the entries
associated with the email account that's giving you trouble.

- for server problems, sort by Kind and find the "Network Password"
that is giving you trouble and delete it

- for any other application or service, browse for the affected password entry
or use the search bar at the top, then delete that entry.


4- Quit the Keychain Access application and then try again. You should be prompted again for your password. BE SURE to click the checkbox on the password request window to Remember the password. This will recreate the keychain entry.





Take a Screenshot


Taking a picture of your screen is a great way to document alerts or error conditions to send to DesignCorp or save until we're on site working on your system. Many of our customers use the screenshot technique not only to document the exact error, but also as a method of time-stamping when the error occured. The date/time the screenshot file is saved, becomes that time record as well.


To take a screenshot, simply press either:

Command, Shift, 3 or

Command, Shift,

The 3 key will take a picture of your entire computer screen, where the 4 key will give you the option to select an area of the screen to capture. Simply click and drag a box around the area and release.


A file will be saved to your Desktop called "Screen Shot..." followed by the Date and time. For example: "Screen Shot 2012-09-12 at 9.30.04 PM"



Find your Mac Model or Serial Number

To identify your exact model Mac you need to gather a few key pieces of information:

- Your Processor Speed
- Your Serial Number
- And your Model Identifier

To get this information:

1- simply click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner
of your Mac screen


2- Then choose About This Mac



3- Then from the next window, click the More Info button.

This will launch the System Profiler.
From the main page of the Profiler,
make note of your Serial Number,
Model Identifier, Memory, and OS Version

(Taking a screenshot is a fast and easy way to gather this info)