New ransomware targeting OS X users

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Ransomware posing as the US FBI is targeting Mac OS X users, demanding money after accusing the user of downloading illegal porn.

(Screenshot by Malwarebytes)

Posing as the FBI to extort cash by locking up a computer and demanding ransom is nothing new to Windows users, but one of the latest to do the rounds is now targeting Mac OS X users, too, security software company Malwarebytes has reported.

Users searching the internet with popular keywords are being redirected to a fake FBI website, where they are informed in rather obviously unprofessional language that they have “been viewing or distributing prohibited pornographic content (child porno photos and etc were found on your computer)”. In order to unlock the browser, the page demands US$300.

Attempting to close the page does nothing, nor does “Leave page” or “Force quit”, since Safari’s “restore from crash” feature will reload the most recent URL, taking the user right back to the fake page.

There is a way to get rid of the page without paying the ransom, though: using the “Reset Safari” option from the Safari menu, demonstrated in the video below.

“Whenever alarming messages are displayed, it is important to take the time to review them, call a friend or talk to someone about it,” Malwarebytes said. “This scam is unfortunately all too efficient, and is not going away anytime soon.”

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