All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


FBI ransomware attacks spread to OS X users

18 Jul 2013
Hacker's hands on keyboard

A new crop of OS X ransomware attacks has emerged, which attempts to extort money from users, according to security firm Malwarebytes. Posing as an FBI piracy notification, the malware locks a user's system and demands that a 'fine' be paid through an online payment system.

The ransomware technique is a tried and true extortion method used by cyber criminals. Often using the guise of law enforcement or anti-piracy notifications, the infection will lock off access to the target system and demand that users pay a fee in order to regain access to their systems.

Though the FBI and other government agencies have never delivered official notifications through unsolicited emails or browser notifications, malware writers continue to extort payments from users who are worried or embarrassed about having their online activities uncovered.

For OS X users, the attack will demand that a $300 payment is made via a reloadable payment card service. Attempting to navigate away from the page will trigger a series of alerts, which prevent users from closing or leaving the site.

Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura wrote: “The bad guys know there is a growing market of Apple consumers who, for the most part, feel pretty safe about browsing the internet on a Mac without the need for any security product.

“Cyber criminals, well known for not re-inventing the wheel, have ported the latest ransomware to OS X, not by using some complicated exploit but rather leveraging the browser and its ‘restore from crash’ feature.”

The company said that users can navigate away from the fake notification page by resetting Safari to clear out cache and history, which prevents the page from auto-loading when the browser is restarted.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

Microsoft Azure outage

Is cloud computing reliable enough for business yet?
9%
7%
17%
67%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Space Planning Assistant

Central London (Regent campus) Fixed Term until...

IT Security Manager

IT Security Manager Overview: Do you want to...

Business Analyst - ERP Team

BUSINESS ANALYST – ERP TEAM, Based in Uxbridge, London...

PHP Developer MVC - Central London

Who are we? Shopworks We are a Workforce Management...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.