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Monday, March 7, 2016

Ransomware "keRanger" Attack on Apple Computers

Apple Inc customers were targeted by hackers over the weekend in the first campaign against Macintosh computers using a pernicious type of software known as ransomware, researchers with Palo Alto Networks Inc told Reuters on Sunday. Ransomware, one of the fastest-growing types of cyber threats, 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.Apple computers have been successfully targeted by malicious software called "ransomware" for the first time, according to security researchers. Palo Alto Networks said it spotted the ransomware on OS X on March 4, and reported the issue to Apple the same day. Apple took steps to protect users after being alerted to the problem, Palo Alto said. Ransomware is software that hijacks a computer, and locks a user's files until a ransom is paid. The program in question, dubbed keRanger, requires victims to pay one Bitcoin, which is a little more than $400, to retrieve their files. In this case, hackers managed to infect two versions of a program that installs a popular file-sharing tool called "Transmission" on Macs. Palo Alto said this is the first time a fully functional version of ransomware has been detected in Apple's operating system. The ransomware infection comes at a time when the security of Apple's products have come under intense scrutiny. What impact will ransomware in general and "keRanger" in particular have on not just Apple devices but other vendors' products as well? Send your assessment to the Cloud and Cyber Security Center:

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