18:48 16th Dec, 2013
4chan Dupes Mac Users Into Wiping Their Hard Drives
Lures Mac users into entering a HDD reformat command with promise of Bitcoins.
There are three prime rules you must follow while surfing the murky, dangerous waters of the internet:
(a) Don't ask for advice on 4chan.
(b) Don't follow advice posted on 4chan.
(c) If you need to be told the above two rules, for the love of all that is sacred, don't visit 4chan.
A couple of Mac users failed to follow these simple instructions and paid the price with broken Macs and a costly visit to the Apple Store Geniuses. An unfortunate cocktail of ignorance, stupidity, and greed prompted a few victims into formatting their hard drives, after they fell for a 4chan prank that baited unsuspecting Mac users with means to mine Bitcoins.
According to the prank, Apple had hidden a Bitcoin mining feature into its Mac computers since 2009. All that was needed to earn Bitcoins is a small command to activate the feature. The command happens to be the notorious "sudo rm -rf /*". Instead of mining free Bitcoins, it wipes data recursively on UNIX/Linux-based operating systems.
This prank is infamous on Linux support forums, and users are now wary of it. As Macs are Unix based as well, the command comes in handy to wreak havoc. This is especially true considering Mac users aren't as tech savvy as Linux geeks. Moreover, the lure of Bitcoins is too irresistible for many considering its worth and the world of grey/black areas it opens up on the Internet.
This isn't the first time Apple users have been conned into destroying their gadgets. Not too long ago, a large number of iPhone users were prompted to submerge their phones under water after the iOS 7 update was touted to add waterproofing.
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