WARNING: Apple Mac computers targeted by dangerous new forms ransomware and spyware

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Security researchers have warned about two new dangerous forms of ransomware and spyware that is targeting Mac computers.

The ransomware encrypts data stored on the Mac and demands payment for it to be released.

The spyware, known as Macspy, keeps track on a victim’s every move before stealing important information and private data, relaying it back to a server controlled by the hackers behind the malicious software.

The ransomware and spyware targeting Mac users were discovered by cyber security firms Fortinet and AlienVault, who revealed their findings in a blog post.

The firms warned the threats were particularly bad as they were designed by professional software developers with “extensive experience” of creating malicious code.

Furthermore the creators were seemingly letting other hackers use the code for free, distributing it on the so called Dark Web.

Those wanting to use either of the malicious programs had been urged to contact the creators who would provide details on how best to set up the software. The creators then said that any money generated from the ransomware payments would be split 50/50.

Researchers at Fortinet claimed they discovered the ransomware after contacting its creators posing as hackers.

Researchers also warned that the ransomware targeting Mac users isn’t as sophisticated as the type typically used to target Windows machines.

They said that that encrypted files can be lost indefinitely as an error in the tool used to decrypt data meant that files could not always be restored properly.

“Even if it is far inferior to most current ransomware targeting Windows, it doesn’t fail to encrypt victim’s files or prevent access to important files, thereby causing real damage,” researchers said.

Meanwhile, Peter Ewane, a researcher with AlienVault warned that Macspy logs all the keys pressed by the user and can even take screenshots of infected devices.

He warned Mac users to be wary of receiving any unusual emails. He also warned that attacks against Mac computers will become more common.

“As OS X continues to grow in market share we can expect malware authors to invest greater amounts of time in producing malware for this platform.”

Mac users are advised to make sure their devices are kept up to date with the latest security and software updates and that antivirus software should also be installed.

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