Just weeks after the WannaCry ransomware affected over 300,000 computers worldwide, Mac users are being warned about a malware specifically designed to target Apple computers. This malware uses both ransomware, where the program blocks access to a user's data and threatens to publish or delete it until a ransom is paid, and spyware, a program designed to gather information without the computer user knowing.
According to researchers at Fortinet, the creators behind this malware appear to be professional software engineers who know a lot about coding. The program they created is called Macspy, and it's a free software that can log keystrokes, take screenshots and gather information through a computer's microphone. Although it's free, users must split the ransom paid to them by their victims with the creators of the maleware. Because the program is free, and anyone connected to the deep web could access it, the researchers say it could be a real threat. The "deep web" refers to the portion of the internet not available to search engines.
The researchers at Fortinet got their hands on a sample of the malware and found the encryption the software uses is far less sophisticated than the malware used to attack Windows machines. However, according to the researchers, "Even if it is far inferior to most current ransomware targeting Windows, it doesn’t fail to encrypt victim’s files or prevent access to important files, thereby causing real damage.”
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