So Macs can be infected with malware. Who would have ever thought? The malware at issue here is the dreaded ransomware. Ransomware scrambles up your files, and the hacker at the helm says he’ll give you the cyber “key” in exchange for a handsome payment.
Ransomware historically has primarily impacted Windows users, but recently it got into OS X—its latest version, Transmission.
- The virus cyber-incubates for three days.
- Then with a Tor client, it connects to an Internet server and locks vulnerable files.
- The cyber key costs $400.
- Nevertheless, this attack, which doesn’t happen as easily as, say, being lured into clicking a malicious video, is easily spotted.
- Apple quickly mitigated the problem before anyone’s data had a chance to get encrypted by the virus and held hostage for the bitcoin payment.
- In summary, Macs are not immune to ransomware, but the circumstances under which the user is victimized are unique and rigid.
- To avoid the crush of a ransomware attack, regularly back up your data!
It’s time to take precautionary measures, while at the same time, not allowing anxiety to creep in every time you use your device.
- Be careful when downloading applications.
- Never run apps that are unfamiliar to Apple. Go to System Preferences, then Security and Privacy, then General.
- You will see three safety levels. Now, you should never download an app from a third-party vendor. One of the safety levels is called Mac App Store. If you choose this one, all the apps you get will only come from the Mac app store, meaning they will have been given the green light by Apple.
- To widen the app selection, you can choose Mac App Store with identified developers. This will allow you to get applications created by developers whom Apple has endorsed. However, this doesn’t mean it’s as secure as the Mac App Store choice, because the identified developers’ product was not tested for security by Apple—but at least Apple will block it if it’s infected.
- Never put off tomorrow what you can update today. Download updates the moment you are cued to do so.
- Go into the App Store, hit Updates and then Update All to make sure you’re caught up on updates.
- To avoid this hassle in the future, put your settings on automatic updates: System Preferences, App Store, Download newly available updates in the background.
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.