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I got a viruses alert when using my Mac and sadly I reacted ASAP.

I gave control to a remote technican via log-me-in and I went through the steps that where asked. After I got off the phone with the supposedly technicians I decided to change my desktop passwords using my old password and to create a new one and it bargain to say my old one was incorrect so I called back they said for me to shut it down so I did and I haven't been able to log back in to my desk top computer at all.

Is there anyway I could unlock and access my computer back like be for with out damaging orlosing any files?

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  • Who did you ring? What was the alert? Do you actually have an antivirus application installed? Was this 'alert' on a web page?
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:38
  • @Tetsujin This is likely randsom social engineering attack - get the OP to encrypt the drive and hope they'll pay to get their files back.
    – bmike
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:47
  • @bmike - That was my first thought, fell for a phishing attempt.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:48
  • Tanica - I feel really bad for you, but thanks for stepping up and asking. There will be hundreds of people that end up in the same boat and you might just help educate others to avoid falling into the same confidence game. Feel free to list the phone number of the "scammers" if you care to help publicize their business model.
    – bmike
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:59

2 Answers 2

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I agree with bmike that since we don't know what the nefarious people have done to you, it's next to impossible to diagnose the problem here.

However, I am going on the premise that you can turn on your computer but you just cannot log in - meaning enter your username/password - as you described.

To reset your OS X password without installation media you need to start up in single user mode via the terminal and create a new Admin account:

  • Reboot/turn on your comptuer
  • Hold Command + S while turning on until after you hear the chime.
  • When you get a text prompt enter in these terminal commands to create a brand new admin account (hitting return after each line):

mount -uw /

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

shutdown -h now

After restarting your iMac you should have a new Admin account. When you login as the new Admin you just delete old one, reset your other accounts (if any) and you should be good to go.

Once you get to this step, I highly...and I mean highly like this is a moral imperative...recommend that you change all the passwords for the services that you have stored in your Keychain.

Let us know how you make out.

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Without knowing the steps you did, it's hard to guess what the villains had you do to your computer.

Why not power it off and then get some help. You'll need to know the following things to make a good decision on what's next:

  1. When is the last time you backed up your Mac and is that backup still viable?
  2. How much time/budget do you have to learn how to reinstall a clean OS onto an external hard drive?
  3. Do you have access to another Mac - if so you can connect the two in target disk mode and just read the files you care to save off the "bad" Mac.

Yes. Someone with a Mac could easily use yours as a hard drive and access all the files. Hopefully you didn't encrypt them and now have to pay ransom to the villains to get the recovery key. That will cost some more money to get an expert involved to see if the people doing the encryption were skilled or made some mistakes you can exploit to get around their attempt to hold your data hostage.

Going forward - you've learned a lesson on backups and hopefully can avoid being scared into action against yourself.

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