Macintosh users can no longer boast of being immune from the dreaded Ransomeware Malware. First reported by security research firm Palo Alto Networks on March 4th, and given the name KeRanger, it was confirmed to be the first fully functional Ransomeware that was successful in encrypting user data and asking for a ransom of 1 bitcoin or the equivalent of US$400.
Users that were infected would have downloaded the 2.90 version of the BitTorrent Client, Transmission which was released on Friday 4th March.
Apple took action took action over the weekend to prevent users from being infected by revoking the a digital certificate that enabled the software to be installed on Macs.
Transmission also responded by removing the malicious software from their website and releasing an update to the software which claims to remove the ransomeware from infected computers.
All users of Transmission are asked to update to the latest version of the software.
Should You Be Concerned?
Yes, but there is no reason to panic. If you didn't download that specific version of Transmission BitTorrent Client, then at this time, you have nothing to worry about. Apple Inc. did act swiftly to prevent further users from being infected by revoking the digital certificate associated with that version of Transmission software thereby preventing it from being installed.
What Can I Do To Protect My Computer?
Mac OS X has it's own built in anti-malware protection called XProtect. This however may not be enough, and even your standalone Anti-Virus software can't on it's own help protect your computer from the many strains of Malware. The best combo of software would be to have an Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software installed on your computer. While there are many available solutions a combination of AVG Antivirus and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit can provide a relatively comprehensive protection package for your computer.
Cloud Backup Is Your Best Bet
Prevention is always better than cure and from the many cases we have reviewed for companies and individuals who were infected with Ransomware, their best method of recovery was from an off-site cloud back. There are many options available for cloud backup however we would suggest that you install one that automatically uploads the files you use without you having to worry about doing it manually. Look out for an article on cloud backup solutions soon!