For a long time, many Apple users held the belief they don't need to care about security because Macs are supposedly a lot safer than Windows PCs. While it's true there's little malware for the Mac platform, this doesn't mean users are free of worries as evidenced by a new piece on the BBC news website. Security firms Fortinet and AlienVault report about the existence of a new piece of ransomware and a spyware tool. Both specifically target the Mac platform and are offered for free via the dark web.
Researchers at Fortinet contacted the ransomware writers pretending they were interested in using the product and, soon afterwards, were sent a sample of the malware.
Analysis revealed that it used much less sophisticated encryption than the many variants seen targeting Windows machines, said the firm.
However, they added, any files scrambled with the ransomware would be completely lost because it did a very poor job of handling the decryption keys needed to restore data.
"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," wrote the researchers.
While Apple's Mac has a much smaller marketshare than Windows PCs, it could be an interesting demographic for ransomware makers because Macs are more expensive and could contain more valuable data than the typical Windows PC.