Tech

Mac Computers Aren’t Secure As We Thought, Ransomware Has Been A Creeping Problem

By Angelie Jill , Jun 16, 2017 08:09 AM EDT
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Mac users are being warned about new variants of malware that have been created specifically to target Apple computers. (Photo : CNET/YouTube)

In a recent report, hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs all across the globe have been hit by a strain of ransomware called WannaCry 2.0. Ransomware is a form of malware that totally encrypts your PC. The only way to get the key to unlock your photos, documents and music are to delete your hard drive or to pay a ransom.

Two new pieces of malicious software targetted at Mac computers have been discovered on the Dark Web, offered through Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) portals and more likely have been up for over the past three weeks. According to a source, the two portals offer software called "MacSpy" and "MacRansom" as services for potential buyers, and also as any future support that may be needed for the malware.

Both of the portals are the services of the same malware developer, however, security companies AlienVault defined the person behind the game plan as an "inexperienced coder," pointing out towards problems like the lack of digitally signed files, which means the security measures on a standard installation of macOS would still be notified to the malware. However,  MacRansom is more alarming since it "has the potential to permanently wreck user files," if, in any instances, users of malicious intent ever applied it.

Patrick Wardle, a security researcher who focuses on Mac computers stated, "Cybercriminals are eyeing Macs, they are definitely a juicy target," He also added, "I think it's a natural progression that's not that surprising to see. But in some ways, yes, it's kind of a milestone."

As Apple devices are getting more and more in demand and popular, expect for more malware to be produced. To stay safe, users must only download apps and programs from the Mac App Store as experts suggest. Apple may have long been advertising that Mac is safer, however, users shouldn't get too confident and should remain vigilant and watchful, most especially when it comes to installing apps from third-party sources.

            

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