Macs Continue To Get Targeted As New Ransomware Found - Olmec Skip to main content

Macs Continue To Get Targeted As New Ransomware Found

By March 10, 2017March 1st, 2023Cybersecurity

Not long ago, the first instance of ransomware was designed to effect Macs. This was greeted with an even mix of shock, surprise and dismay among the ranks of Mac users, and it did a lot to dispel the Mac Mystique.

After all, it has been held as an article of faith that Macs are more secure than their Windows counterparts, and as proof, Mac users commonly held out the fact that their machines didn’t get hacked very often.

While there’s some truth to that, it’s also true that hackers tend to go after the low hanging fruit first, and the simple truth has always been that there are orders of magnitude more Windows-based PCs in service than there are Macs. The relatively low number of them in use provided at least as much protection as the more robust security.

It was possible, and indeed hoped, that the recent discovery of ransomware infecting a Mac was something of an aberration, but now, a second strain has been discovered. That makes it the beginning of a trend.

If there’s a silver lining at all, it is the fact that this new strain, called Crypto, is rather poorly designed.

It masquerades as a “crack,” which is a tool used by people to unlock full versions of commercial software. Cracks like these are wildly popular on various torrent sites, where end users download them to save money on a variety of software for business and personal use.

As soon as the user double clicks the executable to get the unlock code, the software springs into action. But instead of locking each file individually, it copies them into an archived zip file, then deletes the originals.

Here’s the problem, though: The software doesn’t have a means of communicating back to the hacker, which means it can’t send the unlock key, which, in turn, means that even if you pay the ransom, you’ll never get your files back. The hackers simply don’t have the means to do it.

The moral of this story: Stay away from software cracks. They could cost you dearly.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.