For the first time, Apple confirmed over the weekend that Macs have been infected with a variant of one of the pernicious ransomware viruses out there. It appears that it came in through an infected copy of “Transmission,” a program that is used to transfer data on the BitTorrent peer-t0-peer file sharing network.
This has been a long time coming and it should raise a flag for Mac users who have previously not felt they had much to worry about. While (this time) it only affects a specific sub-set of users this time, it proves that this type of ransomware can infect Macs. And since it truly does encrypt files, without a backup the only options are to pay the ransom or lose your files.
The same rules apply to Mac users as all the PC users out there – offsite backups are the way to go. You should always have an offsite backup, ideally one that you rotate throughout the week, to ensure that if you are infected you can roll back to previous versions of your files.
As always, feel free to call if you have questions.