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KeRanger Ransomware Hits Mac OS X Users

This week Mac users were targeted by what is being called the first fully functional ransomware for Mac OS X.

Over the weekend when Mac users downloaded the long awaited version 2.90 of popular Bit Torrent client Transmission they got a little something extra, a new piece of malware called KeRanger.

Reports indicate that the malware is hidden within the application download as an embedded file and lies dormant for 3 days, while it monitors actions on the system. After that period it connects with control and command, and begins encrypting valuable data, from photos to spreadsheets, and other personal data. The hackers then demand a ransom of around 1 Bitcoin equivalent of R6 393.89 for the data to be recovered.
(Photo Credit: NakedSecurity)

Apple users have, for some time now, been unconcerned about malware due to Apples stringent security measures for all app developers and the long held myth that Mac’s are immune to malware. This time the threat managed to pass Apples security certification process and Transmission was given clearance. This has led to suspicion that the hackers may have managed to gain access to Transmissions online servers and replace version 2.90 with their own encrypted version.

This situation emphasises the cyber threats that face us all and indicates that a more proactive approach must be adopted. Individuals and organisations alike need to protect themselves, by ensuring they have adequate security and back up their data regularly. Our security solutions for Mac OS X users are able to detect and block this Ransomware attack.

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