Apple’s macOS, known for its security features and stability, has long been considered a haven for users who want to keep their devices and data secure. However, recent findings by Microsoft security researchers suggest that this perception may no longer be accurate. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of legitimate macOS functionalities to spread ransomware, which has become a significant threat to the system’s security.
A Look at the Flagged Ransomware Threats
This ransomware, first discovered in 2016, infects Mac systems through malicious software downloads. Once infected, KeRanger encrypts users’ files and demands payment for the decryption key.
This ransomware, discovered in 2018, is also spread through software downloads. Once it infects a system, it encrypts users’ files and demands payment for their release.
This ransomware is delivered through phishing emails and exploits vulnerabilities in Mac systems. Once installed, it encrypts users’ files and demands payment for the decryption key.
This ransomware, discovered in 2020, is spread through malicious software downloads. Once infected, it encrypts users’ files and steals sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords.
How Ransomware is Exploiting Legitimate MacOS Functionalities:
Abusing System Services
Cybercriminals use MacOS’s built-in system services, such as AppleScript, Automator, and LaunchAgents, to spread ransomware. These services are designed to help users automate tasks and run applications in the background, but attackers can also abuse them to spread malware.
Ransomware is also exploiting vulnerabilities in the MacOS to spread. For example, attackers have used vulnerabilities in the Gatekeeper security feature, which is supposed to prevent the execution of malicious software, to spread ransomware.
Coercion and Social Engineering
Ransomware is also spreading through coercion and social engineering tactics. Attackers are using emails and messages to trick users into downloading malware or ransomware to encrypt users’ files and demand payment in return for the decryption key.
How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware on MacOS
Keep Your System Up to Date
Keeping your macOS up to date with the latest software and security updates is crucial in preventing ransomware attacks. Regular updates often address vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit to spread malware, so staying current can greatly reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid Downloading Suspicious Software
Avoiding downloading suspicious software is important in protecting your macOS from ransomware. Malicious software downloads are the most common way ransomware infects MacOS, so it’s important to be cautious when downloading anything from third-party sources. Always check the source and reputation of software before downloading and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from emails or messages from unknown senders.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus software is an effective way to protect your macOS from ransomware attacks. These programs are designed to detect and prevent malware from spreading, including ransomware. They scan your system regularly for potential threats and can also alert you if you’re about to download potentially malicious software. Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is essential, as attackers constantly evolve their tactics, and new threats are being discovered.
Backup Your Data
Backing up your data is a crucial step in protecting against ransomware attacks. Ransomware often encrypts the user’s files, making them inaccessible, so having a recent backup of your data can ensure that you can restore your files if your system becomes infected. Regular backups can also help minimize the impact of a ransomware attack, reducing the likelihood of paying a ransom to get your data back. It’s important to store backups in a secure location, such as an external hard drive or cloud-based storage service.
In conclusion, Apple’s macOS has long been considered a safe haven for users who want to keep their devices and data secure. However, the recent findings by Microsoft security researchers show that ransomware is becoming a major threat to the system’s security. Cybercriminals are exploiting legitimate macOS functionalities to spread ransomware, causing financial and data loss to users. To make sure your data is protected and your company is safe you might want to use some help from our cybersecurity professionals. Do not hesitate to contact us today and find out more about our special offers.