Mac Users Affected by Ransomware

07/16/2013 09:39

 

Many innocent and unsuspecting Mac users are ending up on this page (below video), which looks like the FBI’s website. In fact it looks exactly like their site. At the top of the page it says that all activities on your computer have been recorded and your browser has been locked. When you read the page it gives a reason on why the browser was locked.

“You have been viewing or distributing prohibited Pornographic content.. To unlock your computer and to avoid other legal consequences, you are obligated to pay a release fee of $300.”

As you may have realized by now, this is not the FBI’s website. It’s actually a cyber-criminal trying to make some money off of you. They have no proof that you were doing anything wrong. Most people get this page when they search for popular keywords on Bing.

This is very unusual for a Mac. Most viruses and malware are on PCs and Windows computers. There is very little of this on Macs. That’s why people don’t think Macs can get a virus and why they don’t get virus protection software. In this case, the page is not installing any software on your Mac. It’s just locking your browser. It’s only a simple web page using JavaScript to load 150 iframes that need confirmation to be dismissed.

What most people will try is quitting Safari, but you get a message saying that the browser is locked. Click “Ok” and another box will come up asking if you really want to leave the page. People will then click “Leave page”, but that doesn’t work. If you are good at Macs you might try force quitting Safari, but doing that re-opens all of the pages you were previously on. It seems like there is no way out but paying the $300 ransom. In the video they say that the only way to exit the page is resetting Safari, but you can do something that is far more easy. After you force quit Safari, hold down Shift while you launch Safari. This will not open tabs from your previous session and get your browser unlocked.

Source: Malwarebytes

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