First OS X Ransomeware Attack #MacUsers

  

OS X users have today been hit with the first known case of Mac ‘ransomware’ malware, found in the Transmission BitTorrent client released last week. Infected versions of the app include ‘KeyRanger’ malware that will maliciously encrypt the user’s hard drive after three days of being installed. The malware then asks for payment to allow the user to decrypt the disk and access their data — the ‘ransom’.

As reported by Palo Alto Networks, Apple has already taken steps to curb the spread of the malware through its Gatekeeper security system. This means the infected version of Transmission will no longer install, but it does not help those who have already been affected. Transmission is urgently recommending people upgrade to the latest version of its software, 2.91.

Unlike ‘friendly’ system encryption services, it is becoming increasingly common on Windows for viruses and malware to maliciously encrypt user data. The aim is for the virus maker to raise money by holding the user data ransom until payment is provided, in exchange for the malware to decrypt the drive once again.

The KeyRanger malware currently circulating is the first known instance of ransomware targeted at OS X users. It is not recommended to actually pay the malware as it only encourages further malicious action and there is no guarantee the virus maker will actually do the decryption as promised.

Users worried about being impacted by the ransomware should look for the ‘kernel_service’ process in Activity Monitor. This process is named like a kernel system program as a disguise, but it is actually the KeyRanger malware. If you are impacted, the recommendation is to restore to an earlier backup of your system before you installed Transmission. This is the best way to ensure the virus has been completely removed from the system.

It’s worth noting that the malware has only been detected in the Transmission app to date. It is unknown if it is more widespread, affecting other common apps.

Palo Alto Networks suggests a few other methods to check for the presence of the malware. Their post also includes a lot more detail on the technical implementation of the virus, so check out their post for more information. The security researchers suggest checking for the existence of the file ‘/Applications/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/General.rtf’ or ‘/Volumes/Transmission/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/ General.rtf’. If this file exists, the Transmission app is likely infected. You can also check for the existence of “.kernel_pid”, “.kernel_time”, “.kernel_complete” or “kernel_service” files in the ~/Library directory. Delete the files if they exist.
Source: 9to5mac

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Review: Tt eSports Contour Made-for-iPhone/iPad/Apple TV game controller

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour…

http://9to5mac.com/2016/03/04/review-tt-esports-contour-made-for-iphone-apple-tv-game-controller/

Why Virtual Reality Is Vital

  

Brands are already experimenting with VR. Among them, the NBA shows 360-degree game footage, Marriott Hotels loans headsets to guests so they can take “tours” of exotic destinations and Ford uses VR to help design its vehicles’ interiors. By the year 2020, Altberg believes, VR companies will be generating more than $150 billion a year in revenues — and you may want a part of that.

Isn’t this a little speculative? I don’t even know anyone with a VR headset. 

That’ll change sooner than you think. VR has wide business potential — a company can connect with remote staff as if they were all in the same room, a carmaker can offer test drives, real estate brokers can provide buyers with walk-throughs of entire buildings and a dressmaker can even offer a virtual fitting for a wedding dress. 

Cool, but how do I know if VR is worth it for me? 

Are 3-D environments and spatial relationships important in your line of work — say, architecture, interior design or product design? Do your employees require expensive or potentially dangerous training in fields such as medical procedures, heavy equipment, product installations or hazardous materials? VR could be an effective tool for you. And if you have prospective customers, partners or others with whom you meet face-to-face frequently, VR might save you a bundle on travel.

So where would I start? 



Check your budget. There aren’t many companies creating custom VR content today, and the ones that do are expensive — like Unity, which also makes blockbuster video games. You’ll also need to hire artists, videographers and software engineers. The price could easily top $1 million. Don’t have the cash? Don’t despair. In the early days of the internet, a website was expensive to build, too. Not anymore.

How far away are we from a VR boom?



For some industries, VR will become a critical component in the next few years. For others, it will probably be more like five to 10 years. And by that time, VR will be far more impressive — and cheaper.
Article by Mikal Belicove —