What to do if you’re a victim of Ransomware

13 June 2017

Apple Mac computers latest to be targeted by ransomware and spyware


Mac users are being warned about new variants of malware that have been created specifically to target Apple computers.

One is thought to be ransomware that encrypts data and demands payment before files are released, while the other is spyware that watches what users do and scoops up valuable information.

According to the BBC, the two programs were uncovered on the ‘dark web’ by security firms and are a threat because their creators were letting anyone use them for free. Those wishing to use either of the programs had been urged to get in touch and provide details of how they wanted the malware to be set up. The malware's creators had said that payments made by ransomware victims would be split between themselves and their customers.

Ransomware first emerged in in 2005 in the United States but spread quickly around the world, along with other so-called malware. It works by either holding your entire computer hostage or by blocking access to all of your files by encrypting them. A person infected with ransomware is typically ordered (via a pop-up window) to pay anything from a few hundred to thousands of pounds in order to get the key to unlock their encrypted data:

What to do:

So how do we protect ourselves and our businesses? It is obviously always important to always take care when opening emails and links – never open any attachment of which you are unsure. Make sure you have the latest anti-virus software and do regular back-ups, separate from your computer, so you can always retrieve your data if you are targeted.  If you do fall victim to an attack, remember these three things:

1/ Turn off your infected computer and disconnect it from the network it is on. This is important because an infected computer can potentially take down other computers sharing the same network.

2/ Inform the police. Ransomware is a serious crime and should be reported.

3/ Don’t pay. Paying the attackers will encourage them to do it to others. There’s no guarantee that they will unlock your data if you do pay, and they could target you again.


  • No More Ransom https://www.nomoreransom.org/ is a website which brings together information about what ransomware is, how to avoid falling victim and what to do if a person or company is caught out.

Often, people struggle to find out what they can do when they are hit. With this website, victims will be able to upload scrambled files to identify which strain of ransomware has locked up their data.

Read the full BBC report on the Apple Mac threat:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40261693

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