While Windows users have been the victims of “ransomware” demanding hundreds of dollars to unlock their computers for many years now, it seems that cyber-criminals are now targeting OS X users as well, MacRumors is reporting (via Malwarebytes). Apparently the malware hijacks the user’s browser, displaying a notice demanding payment of $300 in order to release control of the application.
The ransomware page is being pushed onto unsuspecting users browsing regular sites but in particular when searching for popular keywords.
Warnings appearing to be from the FBI tell the victim: “you have been viewing or distributing prohibited Pornographic content.. To unlock your computer and to avoid other legal consequences, you are obligated to pay a release fee of $300.”
The source has detailed an easy method that can be used to escape the ransomware, that involves resetting OS X Safari browser. What you need to do is simply hold down the Shift key while relaunching Safari, which will prevent it from reopening windows and tabs from the previous session. Another way is to disable the reopening feature across OS X from the General pane of System Preferences.
Check out this tutorial on how to get rid of the FBI ransomware for OS X: