Transmission 2.9 for OS X offers an updated user interface and other enhancements and bug fixes for Mac users.
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Transmission is an open source torrenting client that has proven to be quite popular among OS X users. The latest release is version 2.9 and it offers an updated user interface and numerous other bug fixes and enhancements.
Allow downloading files from http servers (not https) on OS X 10.11+
Change Sparkle Update URL to use HTTPS instead of HTTP (addresses Sparkle vulnerability)
Fix global options popover layout
Fix building with Xcode 7+
There’s quite a bit more in terms of general tweaks and enhancements in Transmission 2.9, so be sure to click through and read through the release notes.
I updated my version of Transmission to 2.9 and it took less than a minute to get the new version installed. I’ve had no problems running it since I upgraded, it seems that the developers did a great job with this release.
Apple redditors share their thoughts about Transmission 2.9
The news about the release of Transmission 2.9 caught the attention of Apple redditors and they shared their thoughts about it in a long thread:
Tombiscuit: ”It’s a terrific app and a gem in the open source world.”
Leadingthenet: ”This made my day more than the news that Leo got the Oscar. I’m so happy!”
Superpoop: ”Very simple, no nonsense, never had it crash. ”
Danielagos: ”Plus, native look and supports OS X notification system. Also, I love that it only shows the information you need in a tiny window, unlike other apps that use all your screen to show info you don’t care about.”
TheMacMan: ”Just yesterday I was looking at Transmission and the fact that it hasn’t been updated in some time. Checked the timeline on their site and saw development was still active but wondered why there had been no updates. Funny to have that update come the next day.”
Beardsquad: ”How does it compare to uTorrent?”
llourenci: ”1. There are no ads.
2. It is a native client.
3. Simple and intuitive interface.
Even simple, it has the almost any advanced features of others torrent clients.”
I’ve had Transmission installed on all of my Macs for years. So I was very happy to see it get a big update in OS X. Not that it was bad before, but now it’s even better.
The interface changes give it a more refined feel in OS X, and that makes it fit in better with all of my other Mac apps. Sometimes giving an app a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, can make it much more appealing than it was previously. And I don’t think Mac users will be disappointed by this update.
Of course one onion in the ointment is that support for OS X 10.6 has been dropped. That’s unfortunate if you are still using that version of the Mac’s operating system, but I doubt many people are at this point. And of course OS X 10.6 users can still use an older version of Transmission.
On March 4, we detected that the Transmission BitTorrent ailient installer for OS X was infected with ransomware, just a few hours after installers were initially posted. We have named this Ransomware “KeRanger.” The only previous ransomware for OS X we are aware of is FileCoder, discovered by Kaspersky Lab in 2014. As FileCoder was incomplete at the time of its discovery, we believe KeRanger is the first fully functional ransomware seen on the OS X platform.
Attackers infected two installers of Transmission version 2.90 with KeRanger on the morning of March 4. When we identified the issue, the infected DMG files were still available for downloading from the Transmission site (https://download.transmissionbt.com/files/Transmission-2.90.dmg) Transmission is an open source project. It’s possible that Transmission’s official website was compromised and the files were replaced by re-compiled malicious versions, but we can’t confirm how this infection occurred.
The KeRanger application was signed with a valid Mac app development certificate; therefore, it was able to bypass Apple’s Gatekeeper protection. If a user installs the infected apps, an embedded executable file is run on the system. KeRanger then waits for for three days before connecting with command and control (C2) servers over the Tor anonymizer network. The malware then begins encrypting certain types of document and data files on the system. After completing the encryption process, KeRanger demands that victims pay one bitcoin (about $400) to a specific address to retrieve their files. Additionally, KeRanger appears to still be under active development and it seems the malware is also attempting to encrypt Time Machine backup files to prevent victims from recovering their back-up data.
Palo Alto Networks reported the ransomware issue to the Transmission Project and to Apple on March 4. Apple has since revoked the abused certificate and updated XProtect antivirus signature, and Transmission Project has removed the malicious installers from its website. Palo Alto Networks has also updated URL filtering and Threat Prevention to stop KeRanger from impacting systems.