Ransomware made to target macOS

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Olivia Storey

Some consider the macOS harder to hack or penetrate with things like ransomware compared to other Operating Systems, however the fact is that over 90% of personal computers run Microsoft Windows compared to the 6% of Mac users.

So, thinking like a cyber-criminal, in order to get the best return on the Malware you would target the 90% of users opposed to the 6%, right?

Although, we are starting to see Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) that cyber criminals are using to attack macOS. RaaS uses a web portal that is hosted in a TOR network, which uses encryption and trigger times to ensure the ransomware targets files.

Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, discusses the myth of the impenetrable macOS and the best ways to increase your digital security.

“Macs have always been a target of malware, as the user base is still fairly small compared to Windows the limelight as such is taken up by windows users.

“As a malware writer one your primary concerns is return on investment.

“If you’re writing malware with the intention of making money, why would you write it for a market share of 6% when you can target more than 90% of users.

“We must also consider that targeting the Mac user could well be an “and” not a “new” target, that way you’re looking at targeting 96% of the market.

“The myth of Macs being safer has been around for a very long time.

“I think more and more of those users understand that all Operating Systems are a potential target these days, and you should employ the same defences on a Mac as you would a Windows machine.

“We are all at risk from malware as emails are such a massive part of our digital life.

“The good news is we can protect ourselves from the damage of a ransomware attack.

“Point-in-time (offline) backups are the best single type of protection, if you’re infected you can restore your data with no loss.

“You need a good internet security product to help combat the malware that usually initiates the attack, making sure your Operating Systems are the very latest where possible and kept patched and updated will limit your chances of being a victim.”


Are you a Mac user? Do you have a security or anti-virus programme installed? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.


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