×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple’s Mac Computers Hit by First Ransom Malware

Give us your money, or else: Mac users and their computers aren’t immune from ransom-demanding malware after all, as a first so-called ransomware attack was detected by the security researchers at Palo Alto Networks last week.

Mac owners who installed the Transmission BitTorrent client last Friday or Saturday may have infected their machines with a malware program called KeRanger that may attempt to encrypt some of their personal files. The app then displays a ransom note, asking users to pay around $400 to get access to these files again.

Ransomware attacks like these are nothing new for users of Windows PCs, where a number of similar programs have been attacking users for some time. Ransomware programmers typically hide their tracks by asking to be paid in Bitcoin, their apps are often  hard to detect by antivirus software.

These kinds of attacks do not just hit ordinary users: In February, reports surfaced that a hospital in Los Angeles was forced to pay $17,000 to unlock its patient records after they had been encrypted by ransomware.

KeRanger seems to be the first such kind of malware to specifically target Mac users, and Palo Alto Networks researchers speculated that attackers may have hacked the Transmission website to distribute a version of the app that was infected with the malicious code.

Popular on Variety

The good news is that Transmission’s developers have since removed the affected files, and that Apple has since revoked a security certificate used for the attack. Due to the quick response, it’s possible that just a few thousand users were affected by this particular attack — but it’s likely not the last time we’re going to hear about OS X ransomware.

More Digital

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • Bernie Sanders Trump win

    Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: 'Their Greed Must End'

    Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled plans to launch publicly-funded broadband networks and break up big internet providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T Thursday. “Their greed must end,” the Sanders campaign wrote in its high-speed internet policy proposal. The campaign argued that high-speed internet access should be treated as a public utility, [...]

  • The Office

    Streaming Wars Heat Up Rerun Market as New Services Stock Up on Hits

    In a year in which more than 500 scripted series are on the air and new streaming services seem to debut nearly monthly, some of the biggest money being thrown around for content has gone to a handful of old TV shows, the kind that for years have hummed along evening television without much fuss. [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]

  • NOBODY’S LOOKING

    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content