More on Malware


Two weeks ago, I wrote about a nasty bit of ransomware that is doing the rounds in Malawi. Well, last week, it was the turn of Apple. A new ransomware attack occurred last week and the international news treated it as a global issue. Again, as most ransomware works, it succeeds in encrypting your personal data without which you will lose this data unless you make an online payment to the attackers and this is usually US$400.

This malware infects Macs through a program called Transmission used to transfer files through the BitTorrent peer to peer file sharing network. If you are a Mac user, the advice is to instal updated version 2.92 on your device as soon as possible. This has also contradicted the myth that Apple devices are immune to virus attacks. Whilst attacks on Apple are not as widespread as those on Windows machines and software, these are very likely to increase as Apple’s market share increases.

With regard to anti-virus solutions, I find that many clients are oblivious to the risks they face when they use the internet and do not consider the health of their security, until they are attacked. Surprisingly, quite a few companies also share this risky attitude. Would you leave your front door unlocked with all your personal valuables in your house? An anti-virus solution is essential and never optional.


A little bit of common sense ensures you don’t face headaches or loss of essential data when you least expect it. We have had a lot of experience of dealing with infected devices over the years. The worst I faced was a master’s student who lost their entire thesis a few weeks before the deadline and over 12 months of hard work had to be re-visited in a few weeks.

I do not know how the student fared, but it did make me review my security and backup procedures immediately. I also recall dropping my laptop at Johannesburg airport a few years ago. The next day, I had to carry out a presentation to over 30 Microsoft employees! I had to do this from memory as I was foolish enough to think I did not require backup. Nowadays, there is no excuse for this – with Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox and the like offering free space for everyone in the cloud. For the price of a few megabytes from your ISP – you are able to avoid such personal calamities.

My advice to personal users running Windows 7 operating systems and upwards is that you do not need to purchase an anti-virus solution. Windows 7 has a free package called Microsoft Security Essentials available online. Windows 8 and 10 users have anti-virus built into their operating system – this is called Windows Defender. All you need to do is ensure this is updated regularly and run a scan at least once a week, unless you have reason to believe that you have an infection. Most importantly – make sure you right click and scan any external device – be it a flash or a DVD, before you choose to access it on your device.


If you are a company with five or more devices, you will need to consider (and budget annually for) a professional anti-virus suite. Not only does this solution offer full malware protection, but it also enables companies to manage high risk activity by network users. Recently, it was reported on Facebook that Tanzanian public servants were facing a ban on the use of social networks in the workplace. This does make sense, if only that it ensures that employees are engaged in productive activity, but also to ensure that the company bandwidth is not abused.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker