The days of kidnapping and piracy have transferred effortlessly into 21st century technology. In the digital world, ransoms are now being demanded in exchange for unlocking a device after a “ransomware” virus has unknowingly been downloaded.. This virus, developed by hackers, locks its victims out of their computer files. It is no longer the Windows user who is affected, as the virus has evolved to target Apple devices, which it had previously been unable to do.
The malware that is attacking Macs is known as “KeRanger” and the currency it demands from its unsuspecting victims is one bitcoin, or roughly £280. After the payment is received the files are unencrypted. The malware has infected users who were attempting to download a piece of software called Transmission. This programme allows users to transfer data on the peer-to-peer protocol Bit Torrent. The virus remains inactive on the hard drive for about 72 hours after which time it begins to make files inaccessible. The victim will start to notice their important files are now cannot be opened, including photos, videos and other documents.
It is believed that the malware was first introduced on 4 March 2016, so users may have started to notice this lockout around the 7th of March. For Apple’s part in dealing with this problem, they have revoked the digital certificate which made it possible for the ransomware to be download to a Mac device.
Apple users who have downloaded the Transmission software should install an updated version immediately. Many Mac users have long relied on the faulty premise that their machines are immune from viruses. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, if it ever was in the first place. While hackers continue to expose vulnerabilities in PCs, they are no longer solely focused on Microsoft Windows users.
If you suspect your Mac or PC has been infected with a virus, or if you have any software or security questions, give AGT Computers a ring. We provide updates, install new software, perform repairs and take care of all the computing needs of individuals and businesses including backups and upgrades. We serve the Blackpool, Lancashire, Fylde, Lytham and surrounding areas with cloud storage, cyber security and system upgrades. We are a Microsoft Silver Partner for Small and Midmarket solutions and can work with you to meet all of your personal computer or company’s IT needs.