First OS X ransomware detected in the wild, will maliciously encrypt hard drives on infected Macs | 9to5Mac

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.

Apple is working on fix for newly discovered ‘FREAK’ security bug.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A newly discovered security bug has secretly left Safari users on both iOS and OS X vulnerable to attacks on hundreds of thousands of websites for years.

The ‘FREAK’ security flaw was exposed today by a group of nine researchers who discovered web browsers could be forced to use an intentionally-weakened form of encryption. FREAK effects iPhones, Macs, and Android browsers, but Apple’s spokesman says the company will release a fix next week.

Google’s representatives still haven’t commented on the FREAK security flaw, which is a result of U.S. government regulations that banned American companies from exporting the strong encryption standards. The restrictions were lifted in the late 90’s, but the weaker encryption was baked into software that proliferated around the world, and then made it back to the United States.

The bug was dubbed FREAK, for ‘Factoring RSA-EXPORT Keys’ and enables attackers to spy on communications of users with vulnerable software. The flaw went unnoticed for over a decade and left users vulnerable when visiting hundreds of thousands of websites, including Whitehouse.gov, NSA.gov, and FBI.gov.

Once a site was cracked, the researchers found they could steal passwords and other personal info, or launch attacks on the web sites by taking over elements of the page. Researchers found that Whitehouse.gov and FBI.gov have already been fixed, but NSA.gov is still vulnerable.

Cool jailbreak tweak puts OS X’s dock on your iPhone.

Apple may eventually merge OS X and iOS, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. In an interview last year, Phil Schiller dismissed the idea of combining both (exactly what Microsoft recently announced plans to do with Windows 10) as an enormous “waste of energy.”

If you’d like to see what an iOS/OS X mashup could look like, however — and you have a jailbroken iOS device, to boot — you can check out the latest tweak from jailbreak developer Evan Swick.

Called Harbor, the tweak is described by Swick as “the ultimate dock tweak” and brings the OS X Yosemite dock to any device running iOS 8 — offering you a whole new way of launching apps on your iPhone or iPad.

And you know what? It’s actually pretty great.

Photo:

To use the dock, simply tap on it and then scroll left to right with your finger. Lifting your finger will cause that particular app to be launched. A bit like iOS, the Harbor tweak will make particular items on your dock “jump” when you receive a push notification. As with iOS, a small black dot also appears under each app to show when they are running.

In all, it’s a nifty tweak that gives some indication of how OS X might look an iOS device. Since we’re unlikely to get a touchscreen Mac in the immediate future (and, as noted, I can’t see full OS X arriving on iOS in a hurry) it’s a glimpse at the kind of hypothetical software concept which might otherwise be confined to the pages of a patent.

Harbor 1.0.0-13 has been submitted to the Cydia Store and is set to be available soon, priced $2.99. Remember: you’ll need to jailbreak your iOS device for this to work.

Today in the App Store — the best free apps, new apps and app updates.

App Store

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

App for Instagram – InstaFeed [OS X; Now free, down from $4.99] Experience the best of Instagram today with InstaFeed! Engineered from the ground up, InstaFeed was designed exclusively for Mac OSX. Enjoy the sleek user interface, seamless browsing, quick loading, and its suite of Instagram tools.

DragonLair [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] [DragonLair] has 60 floors, numerous dungeons, puzzles in each dungeon, and missions will entertain you.

Axe in Face [iPhone; Now free, down from $0.99] Axe in Face – Defense of the Daffodils.

Memly [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Put Your Mind to the Test.

KnockClock Alarm [iPhone; Now free, down from $1.99] KnockClock is an innovative alarm clock that lets you snooze/stop the alarm by simply knocking either on the phone or on the surface where it is placed.

Cloud Knights [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Cloud Knights is a physics-based action game with an epic fantasy adventure style.

YouPlayer – Playlist Manager for YouTube. [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Watch videos like you are used to! Access all videos with YouPlayer – Playlist Manager for YouTube, powered by YouTube!

New and Notable Apps

Hydra – Amazing Photography [iOS Universal; $2.99]Hydra offers innovative photo capture technology, and lets you take beautiful pictures even in the most difficult lighting conditions.

BlitzKeep [iOS Universal; $3.99] BlitzKeep, where pinball meets an RPG!

Updates you don’t want to miss

Fantastical 2 for iPhone – Calendar and Reminders [iPhone; $1.99] The award-winning, best-selling calendar app has been redesigned and reimagined for iOS 8, including new features such as reminders, a new week view, and much more! Version 2.2.3 brings the following changes:

  • Improved search to reduce the chance of unexpected matches
  • Added support for Opera Mini
  • Fixed a problem when editing detached recurring events
  • Fixed an issue where alerts could disappear from the lock screen
  • Various fixes and improvements

Exposure – Photo Filters and Effects [iOS Universal; $2.99] Amazing effects for your photos! Version 1.5 brings the following changes:

  • Before and After videos: Show the original photo and the result with an awesome video that you can share everywhere!
  • Intensity controls: You can now adjust the intensity of each effect, giving even more control over your final photo.
  • New Effects: Old School, Valentine and HDR.
  • New Texture Effects: You can apply textures to part of your photos: Fur, Film, Letterpress, Paper, Concrete, Puzzle, Old Map, Tree, Fabric, Clouds, Rust and Leaf.
  • Bug Fixes and Improvements.

Today in the App Store — the best free apps, new apps and app updates.

App Store

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Don’t Shoot Yourself! [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $2.99] Propel yourself with bullets! Fly your arcade ship through mind-bending puzzles that reflect your bulletstorm back, just remember… Don’t Shoot Yourself!

Owen’s Odyssey [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] It’s ‘Flappy Bird’ meets ‘Mario Bros.’!

Fur and Feathers HD [iPad; Now free, down from $0.99] You are now looking at a new funny and cute matching game for kids and parents.

Fur and Feathers [iPhone; Now free, down from $0.99] You are now looking at a new funny and cute matching game for kids and parents.

Weather Dial 2 – A Simpler, More Beautiful Weather App [iPhone; Now free, down from $1.99]Spend more time enjoying the weather…not watching it.

Shades: A Simple Puzzle Game [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] A mesmerizing, calming, zen-like experience that quickly evolves into a devilishly challenging puzzler. Apple’s App of the Week.

New and Notable Apps

Alfred Remote [iOS Universal; $4.99] Alfred Remote is your personal command centre for Alfred 2 for Mac.

Mage Wars Companion [iPad; $4.99] The Mage Wars® Companion App is the perfect addition to the critically acclaimed award winning board game, Mage Wars® from Arcane Wonders®!

ControlAir [OS X; Free] ControlAir provides magical touch free control over media applications on your Mac, such as iTunes, Spotify and others.

Updates you don’t want to miss

Adventure Time Game Wizard – Draw Your Own Adventure Time Games [iOS Universal; $4.99]Game Wizard gives you the power to make and play Adventure Time games! Version 1.0.5 brings the following changes:

  • Big-time optimizations and crash reductions! Game Wizard is now more stable on devices like iPad 2, iPad Mini 1, iPod touch 5, and iPhone 5c.
  • Improved Scanning, greatly reducing the risk of crashes on older devices.
  • Reduced loading times (especially in the Arcade).
  • Players and items will no longer get stuck in platforms.
  • Improved the account creation process.
  • Added a “New Games” tab to the Arcade home.
  • Fixed the “Share” feature in the Arcade.
  • Tons of other smaller fixes and tweaks

1Password – Password Manager and Secure Wallet [iOS Universal; Free] 1Password creates strong, unique passwords for every site, remembers them all for you, and logs you in with a single tap. Version 5.2 brings the following changes:

  • All-new Login Creator: Adding Logins is easier than ever with a new, streamlined workflow for hundreds of popular sites and services.
  • Pro Features Get Pro-er: One-Time Passwords! Our new tool helps you sign into many services that require a secondary, randomized password (like Amazon and Tumblr). Less fumbling with different apps, more time doing what you need.
  • Pro Features Get Pro-er: Attachments can now be deleted from the item editor.
  • Pro Features Get Pro-er: You can now add many new custom field types like: addresses, dates, and month/year.
  • Designification: You know how days of the week can sometimes blend together? Well, our item details don’t do that anymore. The new layout features Zen-ified White Space™ and Enhanced Readamability® so you can find what you need even faster.
  • Designification: Such new password editor design, much pretty, very password. Wow.
  • Designification: We tried adding a flux capacitor to the item editor, but you’ll have to settle for a regular ol’ date picker instead.
  • Designification: Rich icons are even prettier, and 1Password updates them if you change an item’s URL.
  • Designification: The Master Password field now resizes for the occasion, depending on your device screen size.
  • Designification: We now show a notification when saving a Login.
  • Sync: Change your Master Password on Mac, it changes on your iOS device. #TheFuture
  • Sync: Backups synchronized from iTunes for Windows can now be restored, even if they’re not in the Backups folder.
  • Smörgåsbord: The 1Password Extension for third-party apps will now lock automatically after the security timeout you have set in 1Password.
  • Smörgåsbord: We put 1Password through an intense memory strengthening exercise and it now remembers where you were when you left. Also, welcome back.
  • Smörgåsbord: New user? Starting fresh? Screens for empty vaults are now at least 20% cooler, and even more helpful!
  • Smörgåsbord: Accessibility audit: Our new item detail view and editor should work much better for our customers with impaired vision.
  • Smörgåsbord: 1Password has been updated with the latest translations from our translation service.

Today in the App Store — the best free apps, new apps and app updates.

App Store

Here are some of the best free apps, app updates and new apps that have landed in the App Store recently. All app prices are USD and subject to change. Some deals may expire quickly, so grab them while you can.

Apps Now Free

Fruit Ninja [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Play Fruit Ninja like never before!

Quick Math Jr. [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $2.99] Quick Math Jr. covers important foundations of mathematics including counting, addition and subtraction, place value, writing numbers and much more!

True Skate [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] The Official Street League Skateboarding Mobile Game.

Train Conductor [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $1.99] Control trains with a swipe of the finger and avoid disastrous collisions!

Bonza Word Puzzle [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $0.99] Bonza is a new type of crossword that has become an instant classic.

Kingdom Rush [iPhone; Now free, down from $0.99]*#1 Strategy Game on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Kingdom Rush HD [iPad; Now free, down from $2.99]*#1 Strategy Game on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

FRAMED [iOS Universal; Now free, down from $4.99] FRAMED is a noir-puzzle game where you re-arrange panels of animated comic book to change the outcome of the story.

CoachBase – Animated coach clipboard playbook [OS X; Now free, down from $9.99] Coachbase is the most professional coaching tool for sports. *

New and Notable Apps

Voice Dream Writer [iOS Universal; $9.99] Voice Dream Writer helps everyone write better.

Handle: To-Dos + Email + Calendar [iOS Universal; Free] Handle is the antidote to your information overload and fear of not getting things done.

Updates you don’t want to miss

Adventure Time Game Wizard – Draw Your Own Adventure Time Games [iOS Universal; $4.99]Game Wizard gives you the power to make and play Adventure Time games! Version 1.0.5 brings the following changes:

  • Big-time optimizations and crash reductions! Game Wizard is now more stable on devices like iPad 2, iPad Mini 1, iPod touch 5, and iPhone 5c.
  • Improved Scanning, greatly reducing the risk of crashes on older devices.
  • Reduced loading times (especially in the Arcade).
  • Players and items will no longer get stuck in platforms.
  • Improved the account creation process.
  • Added a “New Games” tab to the Arcade home.
  • Fixed the “Share” feature in the Arcade.
  • Tons of other smaller fixes and tweaks

QuickLens [OS X; $14.99] As a UI Designer/Developer, you are always trying to create the best possible interfaces. Version 1.5 brings the following changes:

  • Lots of stability and performance fixes.
  • Improved reliability when moving tools between monitors.
  • Lots of new features, described below:
  • App Awareness
  • Ruler
  • Frame
  • Crosshair
  • New MenuBar Icon for easy access
  • New appearance for Quick Reference and Welcome Tour
  • A new Icon!