First live ransomware targeting Macs


When you think you are safe from almost all nastys on the internet, Macs are now being targeted by ransomware.

Security researchers have discovered what they believe to be the first-ever ransomware attack targeted at Apple users that actually made it out “into the wild,” meaning it’s a genuine threat. And in bad news for downloading fiends, it’s being spread through torrenting software.

The problem was first detected Friday (4th Mar 2016), when a team of researchers at Palo Alto Networks found a popular BitTorrent client for Apple’s OS X software for Macs that was infected with the ransomware, which they have dubbed “KeRanger.” The BitTorrent software in question is Transmission, which Mac users can install on Apple’s OS X operating system and then use to access shared files in so-called torrent swarms (which, let’s not lie, is usually pirated content).

It’s not the very first time Mac-targeting ransomware has been detected by security experts. In 2014, Kaspersky Labs discovered such software, though it wasn’t complete at the time.

KeRanger, by contrast, marks the arrival of truly dangerous ransomware on the OS X platform.

“This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files and seeks a ransom,” Palo Alto Threat Intelligence Director Ryan Olson told Reuters on Sunday.