Mac owners are being warned to be vigilant as a new strain of ransomware threatens Apple’s macOS.
When the files are opened and executed, a window pops up with no background and a prompt to ‘Start’ in order to crack the program in question.
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By doing that, it will start the encryption process, which locks up all the computer’s files behind a 25-character encryption key. It also alters every file name so that it has a ‘.crypt’ extension and changes the last modified date for all files to February 13, 2010.
When the deed is done, a README file explains that it will cost 0.25 bitcoin to unlock the files, which is around £229 at today’s exchange rate.
From there the plot thickens. It’s reported that due to the fact Patcher doesn’t upload the encryption keys to a specific Command & Control (C&C) server, it’s not actually possible for the creator to decrypt the files.
Therefore, even if you were to pay the ransom, the files are likely to be lost forever.
As a result, anyone affected by ransomware is encouraged not to pay the ransom to unlock files. Instead, it’s recommended that you restore your system to an earlier back-up.
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What steps do you take to avoid ransomware? Let us know in the comments below.