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Microsoft has shed light on four different ransomware families – KeRanger, FileCoder, MacRansom, and EvilQuest – that are known to impact Apple macOS systems.

“While these malware families are old, they exemplify the range of capabilities and malicious behavior possible on the platform,” the tech giant’s Security Threat Intelligence team said in a Thursday report.

The initial vector for these ransomware families involves what the Windows maker calls “user-assisted methods,” wherein the victim downloads and installs trojanized applications.

Alternatively, it can also arrive as a second-stage payload that’s dropped by an already existing malware on the infected host or as part of a supply chain attack.

Irrespective of the modus operandi employed, the attacks proceed along similar lines, with the threat actors relying on legitimate operating system features and exploiting vulnerabilities to break into the systems and encrypt files of interest.

This includes the use of the Unix find utility as well as library functions like opendir, readdir, and closedir to enumerate files. Another method touched on by Microsoft, but not adopted by the ransomware strains, entails the NSFileManager Objective-C interface.

images from Hacker News