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- Can Macs Get Ransomware
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Ransomware that hits organizations makes the headlines, but ransomware continues to hit consumers too. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to greatly reduce your risk of falling victim to ransomware. Let’s look at the best ransomware protection methods.
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In a hurry? Here’s the best anti-malware software for Windows, which includes ransomware protection. Read on for more details.Avast Free: Award Winning Antivirus And VPN
Jul 13, 2020 Ransomware is a form of malicious software – malware – that encrypts files and documents on anything from a single PC all the way up to an.
Avast Free is packed with the largest threat-detection network, machine-learning virus protection, and home network security that will not slow down your PC.
Avast Premium is more than just an antivirus. It offers complete protection against cybersecurity and privacy threats.
AVG Internet Security gives you comprehensive security that keeps you safe online. It protects your devices against viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other types of malware.
Avira Pro protects your devices from malware, spyware, ransomware, and adware. It lets you bank, shop, pay, and email with complete confidence.
BitDefender Internet Security offers the best security against all Internet threats. Includes a privacy firewall to block intrusions and filter traffic, and secure VPN for complete online privacy.
ESET provides advanced security for all your Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux devices. It blocks and eliminates even the most advanced threats.
F-Secure helps protect your devices against online threats. It also ensures that your identity is protected while you browse the web.
Kaspersky guards your devices against viruses, secures and stores your passwords and private documents, and encrypts the data you send and receive online with VPN.
Ransomware Mac ProtectionMcAfee: Security Solutions For Cloud, Endpoint, and Antivirus
McAfee provides virus protection against the latest malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks. It also has a password manager and a VPN for a safe web browsing experience.
Norton Security offers multiple layers of protection for your Cyber Safety. Protect all your devices against viruses and malware.
Trend Micro makes your devices prepared for, withstand, and rapidly recover from threats and attacks. It secures your physical, virtual, cloud, and container environments more effectively using a single solution.
VIPRE offers a next-generation security solution that is designed to be fast, stay out of the way, and keep your digital life safe.
Ransomware is malware that prevents you from accessing the files on your device (often by encrypting them) until you pay a ransom. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get your files back if you pay the ransom; that’s up to the attacker behind the ransomware. And do you trust them?
Note: You can find more Internet security definitions in the glossary.
You’ve probably heard about ransomware wreaking havoc for businesses, schools, hospitals, and even cities (more reports). Individuals are also hit by ransomware, though those attacks rarely make headlines.
Kaspersky researchers detected 16,017 new ransomware modifications in Q2 2019 – including ones belonging to eight new malware families. According to the company’s IT Threat Evolution Q2 2019 report, this is more than double the number of new samples detected a year ago, in Q2 2018 (7,620). … According to Kaspersky data, 232,292 unique users were targeted by such attacks – 46% more than a year ago, in Q2 2018 (158,921).Kaspersky (kaspersky.com)
The consumer still represents a potentially lucrative market, because many people do not take the correct steps to secure their systems after an attack. Only 26 percent of consumers started to back up data, and 22 percent began backing up data more regularly, which suggests that more than half of consumers don’t back up regularly.Symantec (broadcom.com)
Ransomware primarily affects Windows, though it can also affect Macs and Android devices.
Ransomware could enter your device because you click a link to an infected website or open an infected attachment. These links and attachments can come in by email, SMS/text, social media, or another messaging system.
Another way ransomware could enter your device is because you install infected software. For example, you want a fitness app on your phone, so you find one on a website and install it, not realizing that the app contains ransomware.
Best Ransomware Protection: How to Increase Your Security
There are several steps you can take to keep ransomware off your device, and recover from it if it strikes. Let’s take a look.
Don’t Invite Ransomware in
To guard against ransomware entering your device through a link or attachment, don’t click suspicious links, and don’t open suspicious attachments.
To guard against ransomware entering your device through infected software, don’t install suspicious software. On mobile devices, install apps only from the official app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore). On computers, use the official app stores whenever possible (Mac App Store, Microsoft Store), and download software only from trusted websites.
Software updates often include security enhancements. Updates can protect a device against malware, including ransomware. For example, Microsoft patched Windows to defend against WannaCry ransomware, and Apple patched macOS to defend against KeRanger and Filezip ransomware.
I highly recommend that you set your devices and software to update automatically. When an update requires you to do something, such as approve the update or restart a program or the device, do it as soon as you can.
Not all devices and software can be automatically updated. You should regularly update these manually.
If you get ransomware on a device, you’ll need to remove it, then restore your encrypted files. Although it’s sometimes possible to decrypt files that have been encrypted by ransomware, don’t count on this being an option. Instead, back up regularly, so you can restore a clean copy of your files.
There are two main categories of backup:
- Online backup (aka cloud backup): backup over the Internet, to remote storage
- Offline backup: backup that isn’t done over the Internet, usually to storage you have nearby
It’s important that whatever backup system you use has versioning (sometimes described as previous versions). This means that the backup keeps track of how a file has changed over time so that you can choose which version to restore. This is critical because if your files get encrypted on your device and then backed up, your backup will contain encrypted files that are unusable to you, so you’ll need to roll back to a previous, unencrypted version of them.
In the Stickies app on your Mac, do any of the following. Arrange a note manually: Click the top of a note and drag the note where you want it. Group multiple notes: Choose Window Arrange By, then choose an option. Keep a note in front of other windows: Choose Window Float on Top. Make a note semi-transparent: Choose Window Translucent. Collapse or expand a note: Double-click the title bar.
Mobile devices often have online backup built-in. For example, iPhones and iPads can back up to iCloud, and Android devices can back up to Google. You can also use third-party backup software.
You can also back up mobile devices offline. For example, you can back up your iPhone or iPad to your Mac.
Computers may have online backup built-in (such as Macs backing up some data to iCloud), and you can also use third-party backup software.
It’s also easy to back up a computer offline, to an external hard drive. I recommend that you disconnect your backup device when the backup finishes. That way, if your computer gets ransomware, it won’t be able to encrypt your backup.
I use online and offline backups. I back up my phone online and to my computer. I back up my computer online, using IDrive, and I also back it up to an external hard drive, which I disconnect as soon as the backup completes.
Epson printer software for mac. Take the time to set up your backup systems, or review your current systems. You may thank yourself later!
Use Anti-Malware that Stops Ransomware
Over the last few years, many anti-malware (aka antivirus) products have added the ability to detect, stop, and sometimes remove ransomware.
Paid anti-malware usually includes anti-ransomware, but not all free anti-malware does. When considering anti-malware, look for the word ransomware, such as anti-ransomware and ransomware protection.
No security software is capable of blocking all malware, and that’s true for ransomware too. Don’t become overconfident in your anti-malware and overlook the behaviors described earlier, or fail to set up backups.
Let’s look at anti-ransomware software for Windows, Mac, and Android.
Best Ransomware Protection for Windows
Windows Defender, the anti-malware built into Windows 10 and other versions of Windows, includes the Controlled Folder Access feature, which protects against ransomware. However, it’s turned off by default.
If you enable it, it will protect common folders, such as Documents and Pictures, from unauthorized changes. If ransomware tried to encrypt files in your Documents folder, it would be stopped. However, as with any security software, this isn’t a perfect solution. Also, you’ll see a lot more permission requests, as legitimate programs ask for access to your folders.
I recommend enabling Controlled Folder Access and paying attention to the permission requests.
Whether or not you enable it, you may want to consider third-party anti-malware. Here’s the Windows anti-malware that has the best test results from the independent test labs AV-Comparatives, AV-TEST, Virus Bulletin, and SE Labs. These all include anti-ransomware. These are in alphabetical order.
- AVG Internet Security (and AVG Free Antivirus)
- Microsoft Windows Defender (included in Windows)
These are all paid, except for Avast Free Antivirus and AVG Free Antivirus.
Bitdefender has consistently earned high ratings from multiple organizations over the years, and I recommend it.
BitDefender AntiVirus protects you against existing or new e-threats. It's easy to install and light on your computer resources. The only free antivirus you'll ever need.
Best Ransomware Protection for Mac
Ransomware is much less common on Macs than on Windows, but it does exist. I previously wrote about the reality of Mac malware, and anti-malware options. If you have a Mac, I recommend reading that next.
If you’re careful, you probably don’t need software to protect your Mac against ransomware. But if you want it, here’s the Mac anti-malware that has the best test results from independent test labs AV-Comparatives and AV-TEST. These all include anti-ransomware. These are in alphabetical order.
These are all paid, except for Avast Security for Mac.
Bitdefender has consistently earned high ratings from multiple organizations over the years, and I recommend it.BitDefender For Mac: Protect Your Device Against Threats
BitDefender For Mac gives you protection against Mac malware. Quick to install and light on your computer resources. The only free antivirus that you will ever need.
Can Macs Get Ransomware
Best Ransomware Protection for Android
Ransomware is much less common on mobile devices than on computers. Ransomware exists on Android, but I didn’t find reports of ransomware on iPhones or iPads.
You usually need to take deliberate action to install ransomware on a mobile device. It’s harder to accidentally do it than on Windows. If you’re careful, you probably don’t need software to protect your Android device against ransomware. But if you want it, here’s the Android anti-malware that has the best test results from the independent test labs AV-Comparatives and AV-TEST. These all include anti-ransomware. These are in alphabetical order.
These are all free, except F-Secure SAFE and Kaspersky Internet Security for Android.
How to Remove Ransomware
If you still get ransomware despite your efforts to prevent it, try to start your device in safe mode and use the anti-malware installed on your device to remove it. If it can’t, use other anti-malware software.
If your anti-malware software can’t decrypt your files, use the No More Ransom Project to try to decrypt your files. If it can’t, you’ll need to restore your files from a backup.
I strongly recommend that you not pay the ransom, because not only does it not guarantee that your files will be encrypted, it’s also funding criminal activity. The FBI “does not advocate paying a ransom.”
- Ransomware (us-cert.gov)
- Prevention Advice (nomoreransom.org)
- AV-Comparatives test results (av-comparatives.org)
- AV-TEST test results (av-test.org)
- Virus Bulletin (virusbulletin.com)
- SE Labs (selabs.uk)
What You Should Do
- Don’t invite ransomware in. Don’t click suspicious links, don’t open suspicious attachments, and don’t install suspicious software. On mobile devices, install apps only from the official app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore). On computers, use the official app stores whenever possible (Mac App Store, Microsoft Store), and download software only from trusted websites.
- Stay updated. Set your devices and software to update automatically. When an update requires you to do something, such as approve the update or restart a program or the device, do it as soon as you can. Regularly manually update devices and software that can’t be automatically updated.
- Back up regularly. Use online and/or offline backups for all important devices.
- Use anti-malware that stops ransomware. Use what’s included in your operating system, or use third-party anti-malware. Whatever you use, ensure that it includes anti-ransomware, and that it’s enabled.
With IDrive, you can backup unlimited PCs, Macs, iPhones, Ipads, and Android devices into a single account securely. Files and folders will be synced in real-time across all the devices.
BitDefender is the best protection for your Android smartphone and tablet. Includes secure VPN for a fast, anonymous, and safe experience while surfing the web.
Ransomware, or malicious software that keeps files or a computer in hostage until the owner pays a ransom for decryption, is unfortunately becoming a fact of life. It doesn’t really matter if you are using a Windows or Mac device. Users of different operating systems share the worry and can be prone to ransomware and its risks.
Let this quick article help you protect your Mac from ransomware and properly remedy any situation involving this threat.
A Brief Glimpse into Ransomware
Most viruses are written for the Windows operating system because of its sheer popularity. This is why Windows users need to make regular backups of their files, install powerful antivirus, or use browsers or email with enhanced security.
Ransomware usually integrates into your OS on a low level for it to fully access the files on your hard drive. Note, however, that paying the ransom won’t guarantee decryption. Attackers can fool you or ask for more money in order to get your files unencrypted, sometimes without the intention of doing their part.
In case the fee remains unpaid, ransomware can automatically corrupt and delete the locked files. This leaves most users with little time and clear thinking to pursue alternate means of fixing the problem.
How Is Ransomware Transmitted?
This form of virus can infect your computer through one of several ways:
- You open an attachment coming from an infected email.
- Your machine reads a USB stick or another external media device that comes from an external or untrusted source.
- You accidentally download an infected file after visiting a compromised site.
- The ransomware gets help from malware to get downloaded onto a specific computer.
- You visit a compromised website and the virus breaches the security protection of your OS, installing itself even without user interaction!
Part of the surging popularity of ransomware is the lack of awareness and knowledge to deal with it. According to a CloudBerry survey in the United States, 85 percent won’t pay ransom no matter how much it costs, while $300 is the maximum sum that survey respondents might pay.
Another uncommonly known ability that ransomware has: penetrate Mac computers.
What Ransomware Can Do to Your Mac
Back in March 2016, Apple customers became the target of the first Mac-focused ransomware. Prior to this time, there had been reports of the so-called “proof of concept,” meaning researchers already learned how to execute malware on Macs. Cybercriminals, however, finally seemed to have executed real-life ransomware attacks.
In this specific instance, affected users downloaded a program known as “Transmission for BitTorrent.” This was used for P2P file sharing via BitTorrent files, or illegally downloaded media files such as music, movies, and TV shows.
In the ransomware for Mac situation, users unluckily downloaded a tainted version of the installer for the software. The installer contained OSX.Keranger, a Trojan horse or malware that can delete, modify, hold hostage, copy, or steal data. OSX.Keranger encrypted affected files and demanded a fee, which was one Bitcoin or around $400 at that time.
To better understand how Mac computers become at risk, here’s a look at how Mac is used:
- Installing the Windows system on a bare metal, which means using a personal computer with Mac hardware wrap. Using Windows on a bare metal is akin to using a regular Windows machine, so you’d need to keep your OS updated, install an antivirus system, and be careful in your actions.
- Using OS X natively and then launching Windows from inside a virtual station occasionally. Usually, Windows is installed inside a virtual machine (VM) and launched from that special container if needed. The VM is typically linked to the internal Mac network to access the internet. Note, however, that if the VM does not involve important data, cybercriminals have nothing important to encrypt.
Anti Ransomware For Mac
Yes, Mac might not be as popular a target for ransomware as Windows. But this does not translate to full protection. According to McAfee, Mac malware actually grew a whopping 744 percent by the end of 2016. The potential reason for this, however, is adware bundling, where adware sticks banner ads to a given computer but doesn’t affect user’s data.
Another specific case of ransomware for Mac is OSX/Filecoder, developed for OS X 10.11.x/10.12.x and can infect a Mac when looking for Adobe Premiere or Microsoft Office patches in torrent networks. It appears like a harmless patch archive with the “Start” button.
But once you press the button, ransomware will penetrated your Mac and encrypt lots of files. With its built-in tools and commands, Filecoder gets to run from user context and won’t even need to have your permissions regarding those changes!
Existing research tells us that while OS X has a relatively high level of security, it does not fully protect you from ransomware and related malware threats. Add this to the fact that Mac is already in the radar of cybercriminals, stronger and more persistent than ever.
Steps to Protect Your Mac from Ransomware
Ransomware can infiltrate even macOS. There shouldn’t be room for complacency among Mac users, and they should take active steps to keep their systems up to date and their security levels high.
Best Ransomware Protection For Mac
There are several steps you can take to protect your Mac from criminal software, including the following:
- Back Up Your Files Regularly. Think about it: if you already have your files safe and sound, criminals no longer have any leverage. Your own uninfected copy will save you. Store these backups on an external drive, an iCloud, or a hybrid backup structure where you combine external storage and cloud storage.
- Avoid Installing Dodgy Software. This will flood the application you want to download with suspicious tools. As a preventive measure, read user reviews on apps you want to get, too.
- Keep All Your Software Up to Date. These security updates comprise patches that mend security holes criminals can use against you. Update all software programs and apps on your Mac as soon as the latest updates are available.
- Be Smart About Passwords. Avoid using empty passwords for your user login. Blank passwords have the power to disable most of the built-in protection tools on Mac. Setting the password will prompt OS X to confirm system-level changes, hence reducing the chances of ransomware getting integrated into your computer.
- Pay Attention to Security. Always install system security updates as prompted by your operating system. These updates carry the protections you need as soon as new threats are uncovered. In addition, pair your powerful security tools with an effective Mac optimizer tool to get rid of junk and unnecessary files that are interfering with your Mac’s stable operations.
- Be on Alert When It Comes to Emails. Delete any suspicious email, particularly if it contains attachments or links. Watch out for Microsoft Office email attachment saying you should enable macros to view content. If you don’t know or trust the email source, simply trash it.
Best Ransomware Software For Mac 2018 Reviews
Mac is often lauded for its sophisticated security systems and protection. Its users, though, are not 100 percent spared from ransomware attacks.
This is a real risk, for example, if you run Windows as the main OS on your Mac and keep all crucial data there. The risk isn’t as high if you are running Mac natively with OS X and occasionally use Windows to work with specific software, but it is not entirely eliminated either.
Take note of the tips we outlined above to protect your Mac from ransomware in 2019 and beyond.