Apple has been known to be a company which guarantees the users a level of safety rarely witnessed before. Users of Apple’s services often rest assured that their devices are free from threats from hackers, viruses, malware. However, the modern day trend is not about hacking, sending viruses or using malware. It is in fact, about a new concept – ‘ransomware’. Hijacking a device and paralyzing the users till the ‘ransom’ is paid. Apple Ransomware, however is rarely heard of.
However, defying all the gloatings made by Apple users on how secure they are, a Ransomware has now been found in Apple devices. This Apple Ransomware was detected by Palo Alto researchers on Friday, when they noticed that a popular OS X BitTorrent Client, Transmission has been infected with it. The researchers have named the ransomware KeRanger.
This Apple Ransomware spreads via digital infections, and spreads from PC to PC via torrenting software (this BitTorrent client).
“After completing the encryption process, KeRanger demands that victims pay one bitcoin (about $400) to a specific address to retrieve their files,” the researchers wrote in their findings. “Additionally, KeRanger appears to still be under active development and it seems the malware is also attempting to encrypt Time Machine backup files to prevent victims from recovering their back-up data.”
Upon installing the infected torrent client, a hidden executable file would run on the system, which, after three days of installation would connect to the main system via Tor networks, and will start encrypting content on the Mac.
Both, Apple as well as Transmission have been notified about this, and Transmission has pulled down the affected version of the program. Here’s a guide on how to protect yourself from this Apple Ransomware if you have the affected version of Transmission installed.
C|Net has summarized it very well, as they said “Now the citadel has been breached, there may be plenty of people asking just how strong the walls really are.”