Apple hit with first-ever ransomware attack

Ransomware, the malicious strain of software in the news lately for its role in holding hospitals hostage for cash, is expected to only become more widespread, according to experts. In the first targeted attack of its kind against Macintosh computers, bad actors used ransomware against Apple users this past weekend via an infected version of a downloaded program, according to Reuters


"This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files and seeks a ransom," Ryan Olson, director of Palo Alto Threat Intelligence, told Reuters.

In the past, ransomware attacks exclusively targeted Windows operating systems. But whoever was responsible for the recent attack embedded a functional version of the malware in a program called Transmission, used on Apple's iOS to transfer data on sharing networks.

According to the Reuters report, Apple engineers immediately hopped to action to remove digital permissions from the latest version of Transmission, disabling it before it was able to infect other computers. On Sunday, Transmission released an update version of its software that automatically removes the ransomware from computers when users download it.

The ransomware in question, called "KeRanger," lies dormant in a computer for three days before it connects to the computer's server and encrypts files that are then ransomed. 

More articles on cyberattacks:

Main Line Health employees' data at risk after 'spear phising' incident
Los Angeles county health department suffers ransomware attack
Cyber attack on Maine hospital shakes loose physician, employee data 


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