This news is slightly off topic, but we know that many of you own or use other Apple products, so we wanted to share it.
The first known ransomware attack against Apple Macintosh computers has been discovered. Researchers with Palo Alto Networks Inc discovered the malicious software targeting Mac users. In this instance, the malware is a type of ransomware that encrypts the files stored on your Mac and then demands an amount of money in order to unlock and access those files.
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing versions of cyber infections. Usually, the Microsoft operating systems are the primary targets of this type of malicious software, and results in hundreds of millions of dollars a year stolen by cyber criminals. This particular ransomware is called "KeRanger," and Palo Alto Threat Intelligence Director Ryan Olson indicated that it is the first functioning ransomware to attack Apple's Mac computers.
Luckily, Apple is aware of the problem and is taking steps to prevent the attacks. The first thing they did was revoke the digital certificate from the Apple developer that enabled the rogue software on Macs. The Transmission website is where the open source software which was infected with the ransomware was downloaded.
If you haven't heard of it, Transmission is a popular Mac application that is used to download images, videos, software, music and other data from BitTorrent peer-to-peer information sharing networks. Apparently, Transmission is aware of the problem and has worked quickly to fix it. Here's a quote with a few more details,
"The project's website, www.transmissionbt.com, on Sunday carried a warning saying that version 2.90 of its Mac software had been infected with malware.
It advised users to immediately upgrade to version 2.91 of the software, which was available on its website, or delete the malicious one.
It also provided technical information on how users could check to see if they were affected."
Palo Alto is also doing what it can to help users. They plan to start a blog advising Mac users on how they can determine if they are infected with the malware. They also plan to share details on how users can protect against the malware harming their data. We will try to update you folks as more info arises, but If you see any further info on this, feel free to share it here.