Tech News

Mac Ransomware Hits Users, Google Wins Best Company Award… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 07-03-2016

Mac users get a taste of ransomware, Google named best place to work, Ray Tomlinson passes away @ 74, the new Myst gets its first trailer, and what if Bob Ross had made a Mario level?


Hackers Target OS X With Ransomware

As reported by Reuters, hackers have successfully infected Mac OS X with ransomware for the first time. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects people’s computers, encrypts their data, and then demands payment to decrypt it again Don't Pay Up - How To Beat Ransomware! Just imagine if someone showed up on your doorstep and said, "Hey, there's mice in your house that you didn't know about. Give us $100 and we'll get rid of them." This is the Ransomware... Read More . Essentially, holding users to ransom. It’s a growing threat Ransomware Keeps Growing - How Can You Protect Yourself? Read More , but has previously only targeted computers running Windows.

Security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered the Mac ransomware, which was installed on machines via a tainted copy of Transmission, a free BitTorrent client for Mac. KeRanger, as the ransomware has been dubbed, remains silent for a few days after infection, before connecting to a server and encrypting personal files. Victims would then be asked to pay 1 Bitcoin in order to have access to those files restored.

To its credit, Apple has acted quickly, revoking the digital certificate that allowed KeRanger to be installed on infected systems. Meanwhile, Transmission has replaced the offending installer with one that automatically removes the ransomware from affected Macs. So, be sure to install Version 2.92 to ensure you’re safeguarded.

Google Is THE Place to Work

Google (or Alphabet, as it should now be called Google Is Now Part Of...Alphabet? What You Need To Know Google, the Internet giant, is turning into Alphabet. Here's what that means for you. Read More ) has topped Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For again in 2016, making it the seventh time it has won the award in the past 10 years. Other technology companies on the list include Ultimate Software (11), Salesforce (23), VMware (40), Cisco Systems (82), and Adobe Systems (87).


One employee told Fortune why Google is such a great place to work, saying:

“The company culture truly makes workers feel they’re valued and respected as a human being, not as a cog in a machine. The perks are phenomenal. From three prepared organic meals a day to unlimited snacks, artisan coffee and tea to free personal-fitness classes, health clinics, on-site oil changes, haircuts, spa truck, bike-repair truck, nap pods, free on-site laundry rooms, and subsidized wash and fold. The list is endless.”

To be frank, Google’s perks for employees are legendary, which is why so many people want to work for the company. According to The Country Caller, in its most recent hiring spree, Google advertised 1,000 job openings, and received 2.7 million applications. Which means it can afford the luxury of only hiring the best of the best.

Email Pioneer Dies Aged 74

Ray Tomlinson, the man we have to thank for making email as ubiquitous as it is today, has died aged 74. The pioneer, who developed many of the email standards we now take for granted, passed away after a suspected heart attack. He was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.


Tomlinson is rightly regarded as “fundamentally changing the way people communicate,” with well over 1 billion people using email on a daily basis. While he didn’t invent email, he did invent the standards which allowed anyone to email anyone else as long as they knew their address.

While those in tech circles knew of Tomlinson and the mark he left on the world 18 Fun Interesting Facts You Never Knew About The Internet Read More , few mainstream Internet users will have heard of him before today. Still, a fitting tribute to the man would be remembering him every time you type the @ symbol into an email address line from now on.

Watch the First Obduction Trailer

Those of you over a certain age will remember the games, Myst and Riven, which gained popularity thanks to beautiful graphics, fiendishly hard puzzles, and an immersive fictional world. Now, 23 years after the release of Myst, comes Obduction, which is being marketed as the spiritual successor to those early graphic adventures Get Lost in these Free Adventure Games Adventure games are back in style! Okay, not really: the point-and-click genre peaked in the early '90s, and is today mostly a niche. But it's a pretty great niche! Read More .

The video above shows the first teaser trailer for Obduction, introducing us to the strange world you wake up in after being abducted. It certainly looks the part, and with the developers Cyan promising, “heavy choices … with substantial consequences,” the gameplay should be equally compelling.


Obduction, which was funded via a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, is due to be released on PC and Mac in June 2016.

If Bob Ross Made a Mario Level [NSFW]

And finally, Bob Ross is a legend who the Internet seems to have taken a shine to in recent years. And this video keeps that trend going, as it shows what would have happened if Bob Ross had attempted to make a Mario level using Super Mario Maker.

Super Mario Maker is a Wii U Nintendo Wii U Review and Giveaway Despite the increasing shift to mobile gaming, consoles are still very popular devices for playing immersive, graphics-intensive games; and that won’t change anytime soon as long as the major console makers continue to improve with... Read More game that lets you create your own Mario levels and share them with the rest of the world. However, I don’t think (fake) Bob Ross will be sharing his level with anyone anytime soon. Mainly because it’s fatally flawed and infinitely ridiculous. [H/T Reddit]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

If you’re a Mac user, do you ever worry about online security? Would you like to work at Google? Do you still use email on a regular basis? Does Obduction interest you? What would you include in your own Mario level?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Frankieleon via Flickr

Related topics: Apple, Email Tips, Google, Ransomware, Retro Gaming.

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  1. Terry
    March 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    There was Myst, and a tongue-in-cheek program named "Pyst." Wonder what happened to it?

  2. Evan Stewart
    March 8, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Just found my old copy of Riven last month and made it work on Ubuntu with XFCE and Wine. Reliving the great memories. I am very interested in Obduction.