For the last few weeks, Flashback has made headline after headline since it was discovered by Dr. Web that the Trojan had created a botnet that was half a million Macs strong. Those numbers were later confirmed by security experts over at Kaspersky Lab.
The large number of infected OS X machines was due to the Flashback Trojan exploiting an unpatched Java vulnerability via drive-by-download attacks. No user interaction was necessary for the malware to be downloaded & installed on the target machine – it was all done silently in the background the moment a user visited a malicious site serving the malware.
A lot of the blame has been placed on Apple for its delay in patching the Java vulnerability responsible for a large amount of the infections. The Java flaw was patched back in February by Oracle; however, Apple didn’t release a fix to OS X until April 3rd.
Of course, word that such an alarming amount of Macs have been infected by malware has revived the ongoing debate of whether or not Macs are safer than PCs.
Still, how is a Mac user to cope with a malware outbreak that has been compared to the infection rate of the Conficker worm for Windows computers back in 2008-2009?
Detecting & Removing the Flashback Trojan on Your Mac
Thankfully, Kaspersky Lab has produced all of the tools an OS X user needs to both detect and remove the Flashback Trojan from their computer.
- To check if your Mac has been infected by the Flashback Trojan (aka Flashfake), visit this site: flashbackcheck.com
- If your Mac is infected, you can download their free removal tool to get rid of it.
Flashback infections aside, it may be time to install antivirus software on your Mac. I suggest checking out the Mac antivirus offerings of ESET, Sophos (free) & Intego.
Was your Mac infected by the Flashback Trojan? Has the Flashback Trojan outbreak changed your perception on the security of Apple computers?
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