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First of its kind malware hits Mac users, demands £280 to unlock machines

Mac Systems Are Known To Be Immune To Computer Malware Worldwide But Not Anymore. Security Researchers Have Discovered What They Believe To Be The First-ever Ransomware Attack Targeted At Apple Users.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 08 Mar 2016, 02:11:01 PM

New Delhi :

Mac systems are known to be immune to computer malware worldwide but not anymore. Security researchers have discovered what they believe to be the first-ever ransomware attack targeted at Apple users.

This new virus locks Macintosh computers and demands a £280 ransom. It is considered one of the fastest-growing types of cyber threats that encrypts data on infected machines, then typically asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can retrieve their data.

The malware problem was first detected when a team of researchers at Palo Alto Networks found a popular BitTorrent client for Apple's OS X software for Macs that was infected with the ransomware, which they have dubbed ‘KeRanger.’

Hackers infected Macs through a tainted copy of a popular program known as Transmission, which is used to transfer data through the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing network, Palo Alto said on a blog posted on Sunday afternoon.

According to an Apple representative, the company has taken steps over the weekend to prevent further infections by revoking a digital certificate that enabled the rogue software to install on Macs.

Though this is not the first time Mac-targeting ransomware has been detected by security experts. In 2014, Kaspersky Labs discovered such software, though it wasn't complete at the time.

But with this piece of ransomware now found, the Mac users may no longer maintain its reputation as a bastion of security untouched by the virus.

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First Published : 08 Mar 2016, 02:06:00 PM