Long before the iPhone and iPad, most people sought to purchase an iMac over a regular PC for the general connotation that Macs didn’t get viruses. Unfortunately, in a time where “ransomware” hackers have infiltrated what was believed to be rather secure networks, Mac computers are no longer in the clear.
Cnet.com released an article this week in regards to what researchers say to be “the first real-world rasomware meant to hit Macs”. A BitTorrent software, Transmission, which is commonly installed on Apple’s OS X operating system for users to access shared files, was recently discovered to be infected with the ransomware. The article shares a quote from the director of the researchers at Palo Alto Networks, who were responsible for discovering the attack, “This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files and seeks a ransom,”
The virus infects the computer much like every other ransomware, it encrypts all your files and in some cases suspends any functionality until the note is paid, which was noted to be $400. According to cnet.com, the Palo Alto Networks team notified both Apple and Transmission on March 4th. Apple has since updated their XProtext antivirus software.
Transmission is essentially an open source, so researchers also entertained the possibility that the website “was compromised and the files were replaced by recompiled malicious versions”. Although the situation is under ropes, users are certainly questioning the “untouchable” reputation Mac computers once had. As always, be conscious of the links you’re clicking and websites you frequent. Be sure to backup your data on a regular basis, update your software, and use a reputable security suite. In the event you suspect suspicious activity you should disconnect from the network immediately to prevent a further breach.