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Mac OSX Ransomware

Mac OSX Ransomware

I used to tell those who swore Mac computers didn’t need antivirus and anti-malware protection that to believe that Macs could not be infected was foolish.  At one point, it seemed that Macs never got infected and I explained that:

Just because they don’t (at this point), doesn’t mean that they can’t!  Hackers attempt to inflict as much damage as possible, infecting the widest amount of machines as possible.  As Mac computers gain in popularity, they will begin to get targeted in such attacks.

Mac-RansomwareIt seems that the last few years has seen that come to fruition, as Mac computers have indeed been targeted by hackers and show that they can indeed be infected by viruses and malware.  One such type of malware infection, which seems to be a favorite of hackers is what is referred to in the industry as “ransomware.”

If you are unfamiliar with ransomware and how it works, ransomware typically restricts access to your system files, and demands that the user pay a ransom to remove the restriction.  A popular form of ransomware will encrypt files on the system’s hard drive, which become difficult or impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom for the encryption key.  You may have heard of some hospitals and police department(s) recently paying the ransom to get their files decrypted that were encrypted with the CryptoLocker Trojan.

Massachusetts Police Department Pays Ransomware

Hollywood Hospital Pays $17K in Ransonware

Randsom is typically paid with a pre-paid Visa/MasterCard or the newer Bitcoin form of payment.

Your best defense against these types of attacks (whether you are using a Mac computer or a PC), is having good, up-to-date, uninfected back-ups of your data.  If you are a Mac user, grab yourself an external hard drive and plug it in.

Insert DriveWhen the system prompts you are asks if you would like to use the drive for “Time Machine Backups”, click yes and continue.  If your computer is plugged into the AC outlet, the Time Machine backup will happen automatically.  You can also initiate backups manually.  With a backup of data, you can recover from ransonware, without paying to get your files decrypted.  Restore from backup and you’re good.

If you’re on a PC and need help configuring a good backup program, reach out to PC Solutions and we can help.  Send an email to or call (413) 612-2824 to discuss your options.

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