Bad ap­ple

HWM (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

It would be naïve of macOS users to think that their de­vices aren’t sus­cep­ti­ble to be­ing held hostage by ran­somware, as Fortinet re­cently dis­cov­ered a new type of Mac ran­somware, called MacRan­som – an ex­am­ple of Ran­somware-as-a-Ser­vice (RaaS) high­lighted by Sum­mit Bansal, SOPHOS’ Di­rec­tor for ASEAN and Korea.

What makes MacRan­som dif­fer­ent from other types of ran­somware is that it can ac­tu­ally be pur­chased from the Dark Web, al­low­ing buy­ers to dis­sem­i­nate it on their own ac­cord to make a profit. As a mat­ter of fact, buy­ers even have the op­tion of choos­ing the de­sired Bit­coin amount for the tar­get to pay, when the ran­somware should be ac­ti­vated, and whether it should self-ex­e­cute when some­one con­nects an in­fected USB drive.

Once the sys­tem is in­fected and en­crypted, a prompt will ap­pear on­screen, ask­ing the user to pay a ran­som of 0.25 Bit­coins (ap­prox. RM2,973) to a spe­cific email ad­dress within seven days, or risk hav­ing the de­cryp­tion key deleted. The cre­ators of MacRan­som will re­port­edly ‘only’ keep 30 per­cent of the spec­i­fied ran­som, while the re­main­ing 70 per­cent will be re­turned to the user who trans­mit­ted the mal­ware to his vic­tim.

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