For a long time one of the reasons that everyone championed Macs so hard was that they don’t get viruses so there was less chance of downloading something and it completely and utterly fucking up your computer. Now, it doesn’t look like we’ve even got that after a new virus was released on Friday.
It’s something called Ransomware and it’s one of the fastest growing types of cyber threat. It attacks your machine and encrypts the data on it, demanding a £280 fee – paid in untraceable digital currency of course – to unlock it so you can get back in. Pretty genius really, but it’s all the more noteworthy that whoever is behind this has finally managed to crack the problem of infecting Macs. We’re all fucked basically.
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Palo Alto Threat Intelligence Director Ryan Olson said the following about it:
This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files and seeks a ransom.
The ‘KeRanger’ malware was found in a tainted copy of a popular program known as Transmission, which is used to transfer data through the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing network.
So yeah, if you’re using BitTorrent at the moment watch out for that. Apple have said that they’ve stopped the malware from installing on your computer after revoking a security certificate that allowed it to be installed, but there’s the chance that because they’ve now been breached once, it could happen again at any time. Just be careful basically, nothing really happened with the ‘GameOver Zeus’ virus a couple of years ago, so let’s hope this one blows over as well.