A new threat has been discovered against OS X in the past few days. Dubbed “KeRanger”, this threat is the first of its kind for the Mac found “in the wild” and should not be taken lightly. First and foremost, this only applies to you if you are using the popular torrent downloading client “Transmission”, but it is important to understand the nature of this threat. In the future, it
may not will not be limited to only one piece of software.
KeRanger is a form of ransomware. Ransomware is basically an attack that locks up a computer or a network of computers that are then considered “held for ransom”. The attacker will provide a “secure” way for you to transfer funds to them, and in exchange, they will release the contents of your computer back to you. PLEASE do not brush this off if you are a home user. Attackers know that you store pictures and other very personal information on your machine, and you are just as vulnerable to this type of attack as anyone.
What Can I Do?
Here is what you need to know to mitigate the issue. IMMEDIATELY update your software to 2.92. Transmission has been actively on top of this issue, but they can only help if you update your software. As a best practice, please make sure that the content you are downloading comes from a reputable source – which most torrents are not. Please refrain from illegal activity on your machine.
NorthMac’s ActiveAware product has been updated to detect dormant instances of KeRanger on your machine. We offer this proactive monitoring service for as little as $10/month, and we don’t stand still. We consistently add new functionality to the software so that as your consultant, we will be notified immediately of security threats and other system issues. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have regarding this new threat and what you should be doing to protect yourself.