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Mac users hit by rare ransomware attack, spread via Transmission BitTorrent app

 

Mac owners who use the open source Transmission BitTorrent client are being warned that a version of the installer was distributed via the app's official website, infected with a new family of ransomware.

 

It is believed that hackers managed to compromise the installer of Transmission version 2.90 on its download site on Saturday, March 4, in order to spread ransomware that researchers at Palo Alto Research have dubbed "KeRanger."

 

The outcome is that if you were unfortunate enough to install Transmission 2.90 onto your Mac, your computer may now be the digital equivalent of ticking time bomb. Because KeRanger waits three days before awaking, encrypting your documents and data files, contacting its command-and-control servers, and demanding a one bitcoin (approximately $400) ransom be paid for your data's safe return.

 

According to the researchers, the KeRanger malware also attempts to encrypt Time Machine backup files, no doubt in an attempt to make it harder for victims to recover their precious data without paying the extortionists.

 

And don't imagine that OS X's built-in Gatekeeper protection would have saved you, as it appears that the poisoned KeRanger app was signed with a valid Mac app development certificate.

 

A message on the official Transmission website confirms the threat to users, and advises that they "immediately upgrade" to version 2.92:

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As someone who hates it when people say "Macs can't be infected with viruses / malware"... tehehe :)

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I suspect quite a lot of torrent related sites are subject to this. It could be those looking to spread ransomware and viruses for criminal intent. But also it could well be the wealthy owners of copyrighted materials who are fighting back.

 

Could it get to the stage where internet becomes totally unsafe for things like Banking and people are forced back to using high street branches ?


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Copyright owners have been doing this for some years and seem to be upping the anti now.

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Copyright owners have been doing this for some years and seem to be upping the anti now.

 

Yes and i think it is working. I did look at torrents a few years back to see what US TV series were available and special music performances that were not available in the UK. These were available to download at that time, but when i looked at a Torrent site recently, there was very little available. The Torrent sites now appear to be totally corrupted and they are running out of country domains to use.


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Yes and i think it is working. I did look at torrents a few years back to see what US TV series were available and special music performances that were not available in the UK. These were available to download at that time, but when i looked at a Torrent site recently, there was very little available. The Torrent sites now appear to be totally corrupted and they are running out of country domains to use.

 

Plenty of proxy sites that work. I've actually coded an app which will scan though proxy sites until it finds a good one to use. works within a second, however I doubt I would be allowed to post it up.

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