Yeah, okay. You're tired of hearing about it. And why should you care? You have a Mac, and Macs don't get viruses … right?
Well, not quite. These days, the friendly creators of that software known as ransomware are targeting the Mac OS. What was once a fairly secure operating system has become a target for more viruses, malware, and adware.
This shift isn't due to some epic Mac security failure. (They were never "more secure" to begin with.) Widespread use simply brings widespread knowledge of the base operating system. With Mac OS growing as a stakeholder in the personal computing world, hackers and malicious software writers want a piece of the pie.
Fine, Macs aren't impervious. But why does this matter to you? You don't open strange links or download mystery attachments. (Right? Bueller?)
Here's the thing: We Mac users are complacent. We've spent a decade assuming that our computers can't be infected. Stir in a few years of Buzzfeed and Twitter, and you get a whole generation that clicks before reading.
The ExtraHop IT department spends a lot of time and effort assuring people don't get viruses on their computer, and ransomware is one of the biggest ones we're on the lookout for right now, but we can only do so much. The ultimate responsibility falls to you, the user, to practice good computer hygiene and keep your files safe!
Just using a Mac was never enough of a security measure in the first place, and it is becoming less so every day.
What can you do about it?
- Don't click any link from a source you don't know and trust! This is the absolute best way to protect yourself from having files held for ransom.
- Keep your data backed up in a safe place like CrashPlan or an external hard drive that is not network-connected.
- Stay informed on the current state of ransomware, and get up to date on the best methods of detection and prevention.
Hackers never stop learning new ways to steal your data and get your money. You should never stop learning how to fight back! Get more info on how ransomware works, and how to prevent it, from these blog posts and whitepapers: