A word of warning to any Mac owners who use BitTorrent to obtain software: You might end up losing access to all of your files. A new amateurish — but effective — piece of ransomware has reared its ugly head in the Mac community, and it’s been traced back to torrented versions of Microsoft Office for Mac and Adobe Premier Pro CC.
Crypto ransomware programs for macOS are rare. This is the second such threat found in the wild so far, and it’s a poorly designed one. The program was named OSX/Filecoder.E by the malware researchers from antivirus vendor ESET who found it.
OSX/Filecoder.E masquerades as a cracking tool for commercial software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Microsoft Office for Mac and is being distributed as a BitTorrent download. It is written in Apple’s Swift programming language by what appears to be an inexperienced developer, judging from the many mistakes made in its implementation.
The biggest problem is that even if you pay up to regain access to your files, you still can’t access them, because the ransomware deletes the key to unlock them. It’s apparently a case of poor programming, but the result is that your files are locked away forever.