Symantec researchers have confirmed that the proof of concept ransomware threat called Mabouia is a viable threat to Apple's OS X.
Originally developed by Brazilian security researcher Rafael Salema Marques to prove Apple products were not immune to ransomware attacks, Mabouia follows a traditional ransomware path by encrypting files and sending the key to a command and control server then demanding payment for release of the files, the Symantec Security Response team said in a blog post.
“Marques shared a sample of the ransomware with Symantec and Apple. Symantec's analysis has confirmed that the PoC is functional. Marques said he has no intention of publicly releasing the malware,” Symantec researchers said.
Although Mabouia is the first file-based ransomware proven effective against a Mac, browser-based threats have been found. Two years ago researchers at Malwarebytes discovered browser-based ransomware that targeted Safari through a malicious website.