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Hackers viciously attack the market leader of electronic innovation

2 September 2016

Apple, the American-based multinational company and market leader in arguably the best of electronic innovations have succumbed to the increasing threats of cyber attacks.

Unfortunately, Mac malware exists in all shapes and sizes and all types of digital infections are created every day – ranging from; Adware, Ransomware, Trojans, Spyware and other viruses that can cause malicious damage to your Apple product.

‘’Cybercriminals are using encryption as a weapon – Ransomware increased by 35% in 2015.’’

It is somewhat unusual to hear about viruses on Mac computers because there have been minimal threats to the devices since their development. This is now changing and Mac users must be as cautious and aware as Microsoft customers.

What does malware do to your Mac?

Malware, often described as intrusive, hostile, disruptive and damaging, is malicious software that can infect your digital device through gaining unauthorized access in the hope to extract private or important data without the users’ knowledge.

There is a clear difference between malware and viruses. Malware doesn’t actually spread by itself, instead it relies heavily upon social engineering in order to entice users to open the malicious file and install the programme. It is at this point that the malware infects the computer and allows cyber criminals access.

Once the malware has been successfully installed on your Mac, it infests itself within your network for around three to four days. Like any type of malware, once a cybercriminal has implemented the virus, they commonly demand a payment (often in the form of bitcoin) and can be up to as much as £400 per day. Their aim is to demand a sum of money in return for the user being able to unlock the files that have been encrypted.

Another activity that is popular amongst cybercriminals is to create files that prevent users from recovering information through backups. This is a powerful tactic that cybercriminals use in order to strengthen their strategy in demanding payments from users.

The KeRanger ransomware attack…

Ransomware is very popular amongst cybercriminals due to the profitability it is capable of generating. In March 2016, Apple experienced the most dangerous virus that exposed their Macs to ransomware. Macs were infected by ‘’KeRanger’’ ransomware – this involved a program called Transmission which can transfer documents through a peer to peer file sharing network. Effectively, KeRanger locks any data on Macs so users can’t access it.

‘’KeRanger was mistakenly downloaded 6500 times before Apple developers were able to stop the cyberattack.’’

Other types of malware you should be aware of;

–          Adware = a type of malware that automatically delivers infected advertisements. Most common software offers free versions of applications that often contain adware.

–          Bot = a generated software programme that is used to perform specific operations. Recently, bots are can be used for DDosS attacks and disguising malware on popular search and download sites.

–          Rootkit = this type of malware is designed to remotely access and control user’s computers without being detected by some anti-virus software. When successfully installed it provides capabilities to steal data and access documents.

–          Worm = these are the most common types of malware found hacking into computer networks. Normally, worms overload webservers and exploit networks in order to cause the most damage.

–          Spyware = the use of this type of malware is the most obvious. This allows cybercriminals to spy on user activity without their knowledge. Most commonly, spyware allows access to financial data, login credentials and bank account information.

‘’Flaws in Apple’s iOS operating system have been discovered that made it possible to install spyware on a target’s device merely by getting them to click on a link.’’

Another interesting, current theme around the security of Apple products –http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37185544

How safe are the leading electronic computer devices?

Considering Apple is deemed to have the highest quality, best serving computers within the market it may come as a surprise to you that they are indeed vulnerable to cyberattackers. In fact, no computer is immune to any type of malware or cybercriminals. Interestingly, Apple do have a technological element installed in their latest operating systems called ‘Gatekeeper’ which has the capabilities to stop any damaging software from running. Even with this security, cybercriminals are still able to hack into your software and implement malicious malware in your Mac, highlighting the need for added security.

Essential cybersecurity tips…

Below are some essential tips that you should employ into your security regime;

–          Make sure your computer is configured securely

–          Chose very strong passwords and be sure to keep them safe

–          Protect your computer with security software

–          Make sure that all personal information is protected

–          Avoid opening any unverified email links

–          Backup important documents and make several copies

Need more information?

Don’t hesitate to contact us here at IntaForensics. We are more than happy to help with any cyberattack or fear that you may have. Our specifically designed packages resolve most cyber issues with ease. Contact us on 0247 771 7780 or visit our website for more information www.intaforensics.com.

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Case Review Manager - Criminal Cases Review Commission