First functioning ransomware that attacks Macs has been reported

Apple customers were targeted by hackers over the weekend in the first campaign against Macs using a type of software known as “ransomware,” researchers with Palo Alto Networks told Reuters. Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to an infected computer system and demands that the user pay ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction.

Palo Alto Threat Intelligence Director Ryan Olson told Reuters that the malware, which has been dubbed “KeRanger,” was the first functioning ransomware attacking Macs. Apple has taken steps to prevent attacks by revoking a digital certificate from a legitimate Apple developer that enabled the rogue software to install on Macs. The representative told Reuters he couldn’t immediately provide other details.

The malware is programmed to encrypt files on an infected personal computer three days after the original infection. This means that if Apple's steps prove ineffective in neutralizing malware that has already infected Macs, the earliest victims will have their files encrypted on Monday, three days after the malicious program first appeared on the Transmission website.