HACKERS have attacked Apple devices for the first time, demanding a ransom in return for the un-locking of phones and files.
A virus infecting numerous Macs with malware known as “KeRanger” locks files and systems until a ransom is paid of around £280.
Users began unsuspectingly downloading the malicious programme as they tried to install popular software called Transmission, which is used to transfer data.
The sinister “ransomware” stays quiet for three days after infecting computers and then starts to hide documents, photographs, videos and any other important files.
It is thought that the malicious “KeRanger” virus was loaded and made live on Friday 4 meaning that Apple users would start getting the demands on Monday, unless they immediately installed an expensive update.
Ryan Olson from Palo Alto Networks, who uncovered the threat said: “This is the first one in the wild that is definitely functional, encrypts your files and seeks a ransom.”
Steps to prevent further infections have been taken according to an Apple spokesperson.
This is the first time ransomware has infected Apple devices as it usually targets Microsoft Windows and can generate hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue for cyber criminals.