Oh no! Now we have ransomware for the Mac

Posted by Steve Fearn on 16 March 2016 | Comments

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It wasn't like this in the good ol' days.

Here in the wonderful world of Apple Macintosh mania, we graphic designers have long been the ones sneering at the Windows PC Users world of virus and Malware attacks, replying smugly "We don't get virus or malware on the Mac".

But times they are a' changing. Oh yes. Macs have become popular, even fashionable, and finally attracted the attention of the low-life, bottom-feeding virus makers.

Since I studied graphic design at University of Derby in the 90s I have been an avid Mac fanatic and have loved the small and well formed club I was part of, who celebrated the innovation of Apple. It was even better when the Windows community were banging on about how bad Macs were. We knew better. Apple technology was one step ahead of them and we reveled in it, united.

As designers we were at that point in design history where we spent most of our working days at the desktop using QuarkXpress and Adobe Photoshop trying to push the boundaries of design to its limit, stopping only for the odd slurp of cappuccino or a bite of a danish.

We knew that if we used a PC it would crash and probably get many viruses, but to be honest that never seriously crossed my mind. I just didn't want to purchase a boring beige box. (One thing I did miss were the games which weren't available for the Mac. So back then I did once buy a Mac hybrid, a PC and Mac in one which was a great compromise - crazy but true).

Since then, Apple has clawed its reputation back with groundbreaking designs like the iPod, iPhone and iPad and gone from strength to strength. Piggy backed onto this resurgence has been the Mac itself whose popularity has soared. Go into your local Costa and count the Macbook Airs and Pros littered around the joint. People busy beavering away on the Mac making sure that the glowing Apple beacon is seen by everyone that passes.

That brings us to... the first Ransomware, a type of malware that locks computer files and demands a fee for their release which has successfully targeted Apple computers. Grrr...so now the Mac is like the PC..well, in that respect.

Why am I so grumpy about it? It was already annoying when enthusiastic new Mac users come up to me and congratulate me on my switch to Macs (My rant starts with "WHAT?! I have been using them for 20 years... grumble, grumble, grumble........") and now that they are just not exclusive anymore my days of berating PC users for their virus ridden machines are long gone. Now I need to deal with viruses along with the rest, one of the crowd.

Despite their rise to fame and the new trolls though I would never give mine up. Apple remain one step ahead in technology. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

 To check for malware on your Mac download it here

 https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/mac/

If you want to read more about Ransomware see 

Major sites including New York Times and BBC hit by 'ransomware' malvertising

BBC, MSN hit by malicious ad attack