Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a new LockBit ransomware variant that specifically targets Apple Mac products.

LockBit ransomware is primarily known for infecting Linux and Windows computers. However, a newly identified build tagged as “locker_Apple_M1_64” indicates that macOS infections could be on the horizon.

MalwareHunterTeam, the researchers who discovered the new LockBit ransomware for Mac, also said that even PowerPC Macs could possibly be infected by the new strain.

But what does it actually do? Ransomware usually takes over a computer, encrypts files, blocks user access, and demands payment to unlock important user data. More often than not, threats of leaking the user/company files to the public are used to encourage victims to pay the ransom and give in to the attacker’s demands.

According to the MalwareHunterTeam, the LockBit ransomware for Macs first appeared last November 2022, and it has only been confirmed by April 16, 2023. This could signal an impending surge in Mac ransomware infections, especially if it will be offered as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) to other bad actors.

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