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Ransomeware? No Thanks!

Be glad you’re on a Mac, Reason #42:

I went to a client today who uses Macs for their design work and PCs for admin and accounts. Their PCs have been attacked by Ransomware!

This is when you open an innocuous looking email and the attachment takes over your PC, encrypts your data and you get a demand from the perpetrator (possibly from Russia) suggesting you pay them for the keys to unencrypt your data or else you lose the lot. It even caused their DropBox data to be infected including the design department’s previously clean Mac data…

A lot of hassle later they have had to erase their PC’s hard drives and restore them from a backup that wasn’t infected which meant a couple of days work lost by all departments of the entire firm.

Apparently Ransomware is becoming quite common on the dark side, but so far nothing on the Mac platform….yet!

However, complacency isn’t a viable position in the world of data that we all live in to varying extents. It is essential to have a Time Machine backup running to an external hard drive all the time. The old maxim ‘you’re only as secure as your latest backup’ is true as it ever was. If you have an up-to-date backup then problems of data loss, for whatever reason, are relatively minor.

Even though we don’t have any viruses yet on the Mac platform this could change at any time. Run a virus check at least monthly to be sure. This page explains how to download, install, configure and run the free Open Source virus checker, Clam XAV.

And of course remember: don’t open dodgy emails even if they look like they come from the bank, or in this case from the Post Office. Delete them without opening. If it really is your bank they will contact you some other way.

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