The Scam of A-Tech Network

Stuart Ashenbrenner Apple Security Researcher April 12, 2017
There are so many different scams out there today. We hear about it every day. It’s been spoken about in lengths on CNN, NBC, FOX, radio, magazines, blogs, and the list goes on and on. Being in the tech community, I’ve gotten to see a very interesting side to the world of scam artists, in an over-the-web forum. There is one in particular that has been wreaking havoc for computer users, but let’s face it, if you aren’t using a computer yet, then you won’t be reading this. No harm, no foul.
The scam I have seen in the largest volume in recent years, hands down, has to be A-Tech Network Solutions, or as their company is named, A-Tech Network LLC. They claim to sell you anti-virus protection, and they “want to keep you from getting any other viruses.”
This issue was first brought to me when I was still working as a computer technician. The customer provided a trove of information. When I receive information, especially if it includes…

MacKeeper and the King of Thieves

Stuart Ashenbrenner Apple Technician/Security Researcher January 4, 2017

MacKeeper and the King of Thieves Rub the magic lamp and a Genieo pops out

Leonardo DiCaprio was incredible in the blockbuster hit Inception, but if he starred in a movie about MacKeeper, it would be called, “Deception,” and the late, great Robin Williams would voice the Genie…o. Don't worry, I'll explain that bad joke later.
Before we dive knuckles deep into a pile of MacKeeper, we should first give some background on the product. MacKeeper, formally owned by ZeoBIT and currently owned by Kromtech Alliance, according to their website,, MacKeeper is “a choice of millions and the best application for cleaning, security and performance optimization for Mac OS X.” The company initially released in May of 2010, and they are marketing. They sell themselves as a security company and/or application, but after hours and hours of testing MacKeeper, we have found it does the exact opposite.  Ma…

Back Dat(A) Up

Stuart Ashenbrenner Apple Technician/Security Researcher December 20, 2016

Back Dat(A) Up Why backing it up ain’t just fo’ da club: how to back data up like a baller
If your computer crashed today, or if all of your information got erased now, how upset would you be? That means pictures, documents, videos, music, etc, etc.  If you answered “meh” to the above question, or anything other than “I wouldn’t be,” then it is time to look into getting a backup drive for your information. With how simple Apple makes backing up your information, it will be some of the best money you’ve ever spent since you purchased that Christmas sweater for your dog. There are many different reasons to backup your information, but we’ll touch on three primary reasons. Let’s take a step back - why would you need a copy/backup of your information?
Human nature is great start to why we need a backup. We have all spilled drinks, dropped things inadvertently, accidentally deleted something. We are fallible, and we all mak…

Ransomware Made Easy

Stuart Ashenbrenner Apple Technician/Security Researcher November 27, 2016

Ransomware Made Easy Stealing for the social engineer
Mac’s get viruses. There, I said it. It’s true. Malware, adware, viruses, ransomware, the whole kitchen sink is available to Apple devices. I see it all day, every day. There is your first debunked myth. Recently, I saw a case of what I believe to be the easiest, most simplistic form of ransomware possible, but before we jump into ransomware, I’ll quickly breakdown what ransomware is. Ransomware, which similarly to most security issues is most common on PCs, but is 100% possible on an Apple machine. Ransomware, at its core, is hijacking a person’s computer, encrypting the data, then requiring that person to pay the hacker a specified amount of money to get the encryption key (a code or password) to decrypt the data. This seems like a difficult task from a hacker’s perspective, to hack into someone else’s computer, encrypt all of their data, contact that person to …