Watch Out Apple Fans: There's New Malware Targeting Macs

Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
You've heard it before: "Macs don't get viruses." The myth was kind of true, for a while, but not in 2016. Now there's new malware that's paying particular attention to OS X.

Over the weekend, security researchers at Palo Alto Networks announced that Transmission, a popular BitTorrent client, was infected with ransomware, Reuters reports.

Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing kinds of online threats. It encrypts data on infected computers, making it impossible to access unless the user pays a ransom — usually in the form of untraceable Bitcoin — to the malware's operator. Just last month, a ransomware attack cost a Hollywood hospital $17,000, according to the Los Angeles Times.

This isn't the first time Mac-targeting ransomware has been detected, according to CNET. Similar malware was found in 2014, but it wasn't completely functional. That's different from this new ransomware, which has been dubbed "KeRanger."

"This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files, and seeks a ransom," Palo Alto Threat Intelligence Director Ryan Olson told Reuters on Sunday.

The good news is, most of you are fine. The only way you could be affected is if you downloaded a copy of Transmission on March 4 or 5, before the issue was discovered and eliminated. With that said, if you're using Transmission, it may be worth checking which version you're running. Version 2.90 is the infected version, while Version 2.92 is clean. If you are running Version 2.90, follow the directions here to delete the affected files.

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