Technology is improving but so are cyber criminals. They have proven to be ingenious in breaking down modern computer defenses and making money from the discomfort of other people. That’s actually what a malware does – a product of their creative yet malicious minds. And the most popular one these days is ransomware. Mac users generally think their Apple computer is 100% safe from malwares like WannaCry but sorry to burst your bubble because apparently, you are not.
This type of ransomware is actually known to target older Window models like what most big companies, organizations, and institutions use. No wonder the UK’s healthcare system was badly affected by the last well publicized WannaCry attack. Patients missed out on their medications and treatments because the computers were inaccessible and their files were lost in computer limbo. Technically, Mac computers aren’t vulnerable to these ransomware attacks but it does not mean they are immune.
All of the high-profile ransomware attacks you’ve likely ever heard of have targeted Windows users but some of the more recent code being made available via the dark web specifically targets all of the versions of the MacOS as well.
Because ransomware takes advantage of the user more than the operating system, there are few technical barriers to creating a Mac-specific attack, because the point of entry is getting the user to do something they shouldn’t do.
The most common attack vector for Macs so far has been through infected programs that are designed to bypass Apple’s built-in security (e.g., Xprotect and Gatekeeper).
These premade ransomware packages also claim to be able to bypass detection by at least 50 different anti-virus programs for both Mac and Windows.
Ransomware attacks are a lucrative business for many cyber criminals on the dark web who do not rest until they find a way to disrupt the world order and make lots of the money in the process. All computer users are at risk considering this malware often disguise itself as an ordinary email you’d usually get from a family, friend, or a colleague. It is often already too late by the time you figure it out and your computer has been encrypted and you either have to pay the bitcoin ransom or forget about your hostaged data forever.
The idea that Mac computers are more secure than Windows machines might be a myth.
Security researchers have found two types of malicious software which apparently target Macs for the first time.
Ransomware — malicious software that encrypts your data and then demands payment for decryption — is more commonly a problem for Windows users, but it’s also recently been a growing problem for Macs.
What’s still less common on Macs is ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) schemes.
These are essentially affiliate models, where attackers use someone else’s ransomware package to launch an attack. They then hand over a cut to the ransomware author. The advantage is that you don’t need to be particularly tech-savvy to launch an attack by using someone else’s code. Attackers haven’t bothered targeting Macs, because most people use Windows.
It looks like that’s changing.
What’s even scarier is that a new breed of malware is now being advertised on the dark web that specifically targets Mac computers. Although it is simpler than other ransomwares used to attack Windows PCs, this Mac malware package known as MacSpy disguises itself as a regular file but once opened, it can encrypt your files, access your SNS accounts, and do many other damaging stuff you aren’t prepared to deal with. Cyber criminals know that although the Apple computer market is not as big as that of Windows, it is still an untapped market that promises so much potential especially that most Apple users are well-off individuals.
You might want to orient yourself regarding Mac data recovery services because you’ll likely lose access to all your important files unless you were wise enough to create backups. Check this out: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ to learn more about what you can do to recover data from your Mac device. But if the damage is on a bigger scale and affecting servers like what is used in big companies and organizations, understanding the basics on RAID data recovery: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery/ is a big help for you to survive such a cyber attack.