Are Mac users safe from ransomware attacks?

by Linas Kiguolis - -

The recent WannaCry ransomware attacked Windows users. Mac users also start wondering if they are safe from ransomware.

Mac ransomware attacks

Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac recently announced consideration about ransomware attacks. The report also warned users to be careful, even though Windows users are still the number one target for these kinds of ransomware attacks.[1]

It turns out that macOS users are not safe from ransomware attacks. However, Mac is safer to use compared to Windows operating system.

Security vulnerabilities exist in all operating systems

Ben Lovejoy uncovered the fact that all operating systems have security vulnerabilities and no operating system is totally secure.

Windows is still one of the most popular operating systems. Because older versions of Windows usually are not patched for vulnerabilities, they become really attractive for cybercriminals.

However, macOS also can be attacked and consumers should take precautions to protect their computers from cyber attacks.

How macOS users should avoid ransomware

According to a security expert, Keir Thomas:[2]

With the outbreak of WannaCry crippling the world's computers, Mac users might be wondering what they can do to protect themselves from ransomware, and how to fix things if they get hit.

Keir Thomas reported at Macworld several things macOS users can do in order to protect against ransomware:

  1. Consider installing RansomWhere? security software completely for free.[3]
  2. Take basic steps to in order to protect yourself from phishing scams. The majority of ransomware and malware infects devices using phishing attacks.
  3. Do not ever install or use suspicious software;
  4. Always make sure that your system and apps are updated;
  5. Install software and applications only from official websites. Do not trust sudden pop-up ads that say that your browser plugins are out of date, and make sure that all software is installed from trustful official sites.
  6. Back up frequently and check your system for unwanted apps. If you have all your files backed up, you won’t care that much if ransomware hits you because you can just simply restore them.

If you find out that your Mac is already infected by ransomware there are steps you should do: the first advice would be not to panic.

Then you should use a malware scanner to detect the ransomware infection and remove it.

Further, do not pay the attackers. Paying does not guarantee that you will get your files back. In addition, if you keep an eye on sites like Macworld you could find solutions how to fix the issue or you might find that a security researcher has invented a method how to decrypt your files for free.

Finally, make sure to unplug and disconnect storage.


About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Senior IT developer

Linas Kiguolis is a senior IT developer and news editor at He has a major in Applied Computer Science because IT has been his passion for a very long time even before he went to college.

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