While we’ve mainly seen ransomware developed for Windows, Mac users aren’t safe from such kind of malware as well. Security researchers of Fortinet have found ransomware for Apple’s operating system called MacRansom.
The ransomware was discovered on the Tor network where it’s offered as ransomware-as-a-service. That means cybercriminals can contact the developers of the malware that then creates a custom version of the malware. That file can then be used to infect Macs and the developer gets 30% of the profits. The criminals can set the amount of ransom that has to be paid for each custom variant.
MacRansom is currently able to encrypt up to 128 files and is far from sophisticated (yet). The ransomware tries to imitate a legitimate file in Mac OS but when the file is opened a warning is shown because the file isn’t signed by Apple. That means that Mac OS users shouldn’t open suspicious files, just as on Windows.
Fortinet argues that while the ransomware isn’t as sophisticated as Windows variants, it still encrypts file and therefore could make victims.
“It is true that it’s less likely for a Mac OS user to be attacked or infected by malware than a Windows user, but this has nothing to do with the level of vulnerability in the operating system. It is largely caused by the fact that over 90% of personal computers run on Microsoft Windows and only around 6% on Apple Mac OS,” according to the researchers.