Here we can see “How to Prevent Ransomware on Mac”
Because of Apple’s tight control, macOS has a strong reputation for security, yet no platform is completely secure. Ransomware is only one example, and it’s becoming more common. Here’s how to protect your Mac.
What Is Ransomware and How Does It Work?
Ransomware is a sort of malicious software (malware) that threatens to expose or limit access to data or a computer system, generally by encrypting it, unless the victim pays the attacker a ransom price. The ransom demand is frequently accompanied by a deadline. If the victim does not promptly pay the ransom, the data will be lost forever, or the ransom will increase.
These days, ransomware assaults are all too common. It has affected major corporations in both North America and Europe. Cybercriminals will target any individual or firm, and victims will come from a variety of industries.
Several government authorities, including the FBI, and the No More Ransom Project, advise against paying the ransom to avoid promoting the ransomware cycle. Furthermore, half of those who pay the ransom are at risk of future ransomware assaults, especially if the malware is not removed from the system.
Understanding What Ransomware Does
As the name implies, Ransomware holds your computer or the information saved on it hostage and demands a ransom in exchange for its safe return. Some early versions of Windows ransomware were known to completely lock down your computer. However, encrypting your data with a key, you don’t know a more popular method.
- When your system or data is taken hostage, demands for money are made to regain access. This ransom might be paid in cash via wire transfer, such as PayPal or Western Union, or gift card codes for services like Xbox Live, Bitcoin, or other untraceable cryptocurrencies.
- While paying the ransom may restore access to your computer or data, there is no assurance. Some ransomware has been known to completely erase data, making it hard to recover. That’s why it’s never a good idea to fall for a con like this.
- Unfortunately, many people are embarrassed that they were duped in the first place, making it even more appealing to participate in the fraud.
- Furthermore, because of the unscrupulous methods through which Ransomware spreads, it’s even more probable that the victim will pay to save face.
- Fortunately, there are several safeguards you can take. But, as with many other internet frauds, the greatest thing you can do is to avoid engaging in activities that put you at risk in the first place.
Stay away from pirated software.
- Pirated software is one of the most common ways for Ransomware to spread. For example, the ransomware “ThiefQuest” (formerly nicknamed “EvilQuest”) was detected in an installation for a cracked version of Little Snitch by Malwarebytes in June 2021.
- It was also suggested that the malware had infiltrated illegal versions of DJ software such as Ableton Live and Mixed in Key 8.
- After being submitted to a Russian community dedicated to spreading cracked software, these installers spread via BitTorrent. These torrents are widely distributed and monitored by “mainstream” trackers such as The Pirate Bay.
- So you don’t have to scour the internet for dodgy message boards to find some potentially corrupted installers.
- Piracy provides a serious possibility of infecting your computer with malware because pirates frequently modify installation files or include additional patches to crack the software in the issue.
- Even if a torrent appears authentic or is distributed by a known group, you never know what you’re getting.
- Also, if you don’t know the origins of software shared around by friends or acquaintances, be cautious. While it may be tempting to download and install pricey software for free, it could end up costing you much more than the license fee.
We urge that you look for less expensive alternatives or use open-source software. You could also want to try a Netflix-type service like SetApp.
Be cautious when using the internet.
- Malware isn’t merely propagated by pirated software. Because any executable file could be dangerous, it’s a good idea to practice caution when downloading and installing software.
- One of the reasons Apple introduced Gatekeeper, which prefers the Mac App Store and signed software from qualified Apple Developers, is to address this issue.
- When you try to install an app that violates these restrictions, Gatekeeper will warn you that it can’t be installed since the creator isn’t known.
- You can choose to ignore this (System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Ignore this). However, you accept all risks associated with operating software that could have originated from anywhere.
- However, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of unsigned software isn’t malicious. To become Gatekeeper compliant, an app’s designer must first register as an Apple developer and pay a $99 annual fee.
- As a result of budgetary constraints, many legitimate projects remain unsigned. This is especially true in the case of open-source projects, which rely on volunteer programmers who merely provide their time.
- If you have faith in a developer, you can use an MD5 hash to verify a file’s authenticity. Along with a download link, most developers add an alphanumeric cryptographic hash. If the hash of the file you downloaded matches the hash provided by the developer, you can be sure it hasn’t been tampered with.
Although all programs in the Mac App Store are Gatekeeper-friendly, malware has already been found in both iOS and the App Store. However, because App Store software is exposed to a higher level of review, it is generally safer.
Have a solid backup strategy in place
Backups are crucial. In a perfect world, you’d use Time Machine to back up locally to an external drive. However, there should also be a remote internet backup if your computer and Time Machine drive are both destroyed by a fire or other disaster.
- Backups are much more important when it comes to Ransomware. However, there are a few guidelines to follow. To begin, make sure your Time Machine backup is turned off when not in use.
- The software could access everything except the most sensitive areas of your system drive, including any attached external devices, before macOS Catalina.
- While Catalina retracts most of her claims, attackers can still get through such safeguards. Malware has been known to defeat Gatekeeper and bypass System Integrity Protection in the past.
- Assume the worst and unplug your Time Machine drive once your backup is finished.
- Even better, don’t install software or updates while a backup is in progress. You can unmount your backup disc while it’s not in use if it’s permanently attached to the network or via a storage array.
- Unmount it by right-clicking it on your desktop and selecting “Unmount.”
- You can wipe everything, reinstall macOS, and recover all of your files if your Mac becomes infected and you have a backup. However, if your Mac becomes infected while your backup drive is mounted, your backup drive may be held hostage as well. This danger is increased if you’re running an earlier version of macOS than Catalina.
In this case, a cloud-based backup solution could be your salvation. Just make sure you use a company that offers to version so you can restore any unencrypted versions of your files if the worst happens.
Anti-Malware Software is a good option
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: antivirus software for your Mac is unnecessary. Gatekeeper and System Integrity Protection, for example, are “hand-holding” technologies that secure your computer. XProtect, Apple’s invisible virus scanner, also runs in the background, monitoring everything you do.
That isn’t to argue that anti-malware software isn’t useful on macOS. On the contrary, many individuals feel safer knowing that their computer has an extra degree of security. In addition, some of these apps can assist you in detecting potential hazards and avoiding them.
Consider Malwarebytes for simple malware eradication (we like the Windows version, too). The free version will assist you in removing known nasties, while the paid version (which you won’t need) will provide real-time protection.
We haven’t evaluated the rest of the field independently, however as of June 2021, AV-Test strongly recommends the following:
- Avira Antivirus Pro
- Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac
- F-Secure SAFE
- Kaspersky Cyber Security
- Norton Antivirus
- Trend Micro Antivirus
Do you have any concerns about Ransomware or other dangers to your Mac? Then, to keep viruses, hackers, and thieves at bay, brush up on the fundamentals of online security.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.
1. Can a Mac protect you against Ransomware?
Apple’s exclusive OS X operating system is not immune to new mac ransomware attacks despite popular belief. A new ransomware strain has been discovered that targets Apple’s Mac machines, and while it’s primitive, it’s undoubtedly successful.
2. How can I know if my Apple computer is infected?
Here’s how to check if your Mac is infected: Go to the Applications folder in Finder. Delete any programs you don’t recognize as you go through the list. Then, the trash should be emptied.
3. Does the malware have an impact on Macs?
Unfortunately, malware can infect your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Mini. Although Macs are less vulnerable to viruses and hackers than Windows machines, they can still be attacked.
4. Are MacBooks vulnerable to hacking?
Nearly 30,000 Apple MacBooks have been hacked as part of a large-scale malware campaign. There’s a widespread misperception that Macs can’t be hacked or infected with viruses. However, a recent malware effort has shown that this is not the case.
5. A step-by-step guide to protecting yourself and your Mac