Feeds

Apple fanbois warned: No, Cupertino HASN'T built a Bitcoin mining function into Macs

If you follow tech guidelines from 4chan, you're an idiot

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The denizens of internet horror-forum 4chan have come up with a hoax designed to trick Mac fans into deleting all the files on their machines by running commands supposedly needed to turn on hidden Bitcoin mining features.

Apple's so-called secret mining feature, which 4channers claim has been present in Macs since 2009, can be unlocked by opening a terminal command line and running the following command: sudo rm -rf/*, viral images falsely claim.

Do not try this at home – or anywhere else, come to that. In reality, typing rm -rf/* on a Unix system (including Mac OS X) tells your computer to delete all of your files and folders.

The more tech-savvy folk on 4chan would take the bogus flier as the slightly twisted joke it's probably intended to be. But, as with any in-joke, there's a danger that less technically knowledgeable people might be taken in, warns veteran security researcher Graham Cluley.

"With many people intrigued by mainstream newspaper stories about Bitcoins, but lacking in knowledge about how to dip their toe into the waters of Bitcoin mining, there is a danger that some folks could take the advice seriously," Cluley writes in a blog post featuring screenshots of the deliberately misleading flier.

"Most of the denizens of 4Chan are probably in on the joke, and will give an evil grin at the suggestion. But there’s always a danger that other wannabe Bitcoin miners will see the “advice” and follow it to the letter with data-destroying results."

An article by the Daily Dot suggests the hoax has already claimed a number of victims.

It seems the inmates of 4chan’s random imageboard /b/ are following up on the recent Xbox One bricking hoax with a ruse designed to trick the less knowledgeable into auto-trashing all the files on their Apple computers.

Last weekend malicious /b/ pranksters pushed a fake advisory seeking to trick Xbox One owners into bricking their consoles by following a set of instructions that supposedly made the latest version of Microsoft's gaming console backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. Instead it made the console inoperable.

The Xbox wheeze was far more plausible – and created far more problems – than the latest rash of mischief. The Daily Dot adds that the Xbox hoax has even spawned secondary ruses involving supposed instructions to restore a bricked Xbox One console that, in reality, will result in a knackered PC to go with a borked gaming console.

This latter ruse surfaced in the image community 9gag and not /b/, which is notorious as the birthplace of Anonymous and much more besides. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.