What Mac Users Should Know About the New Ransomware

March 11th, 2016 by Rocket IT

Mac users beware, you’re no longer safe from ransomware. The ransomware dubbed KeRanger recently hit Macs, infecting about 6,000 computers before it was caught and shut down. While this isn’t the first virus aimed at Macs, this is the first one that has gotten through Apple’s defenses.

The KeRanger ransomware is a Mac version of the Linux Encoder Trojan, according to the security software firm BitDefender. KeRanger spread via an infected version of a legitimate opensource BitTorrent application. The application’s digital certificate has since been revoked by Apple, but that isn’t to say this will be the last Apple users will see of viruses targeted at them.

KeRanger’s way in may have been shut down, but that doesn’t mean Mac users can rest easy again just yet. Symantec, a popular security software firm, is warning Mac users to be aware and not become complacent just because the first one has already been stopped. KeRanger is likely only the beginning of wave of new viruses aimed at Macs, like the ramp up we’ve seen with security threats to Microsoft computers ranging from the Heartbleed Bug to Locky and others.

Similar to Locky, this Mac ransomware came in through what appeared to be a legitimate source. Where Locky found its way in by spooking legitimate email addresses, KeRanger found its way in by a certified application.  Mac users are going to have to start following the same precautions Microsoft users have been urged to follow for years. Be careful when choosing your download sources and what programs you’re downloading. Don’t open attachments in emails you aren’t expecting, don’t click on suspicious links, and more.

Mac users are safe from KeRanger, for now. But others are sure to come. This wasn’t actually the first malware produced with the ability to get around Apple’s gates either; viruses using the same method have been used before on other devices.

Apple is, of course, increasing security in light of this heightened risk, but hackers will respond in kind, becoming craftier to find new workarounds. But don’t worry too much, Mac users. Us Microsoft fans are willing to share a few tips on keeping your computer safe and secure.

 


 

PR

About the Author – 

Patrick Richardt is an Inside Support Specialist at Rocket IT. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, and he currently resides with his wife and two children in Gwinnett County.

 

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