Monday, April 09, 2012

OSX/Flashback Trojan

Last week security company, Dr.Web, reported findings of a massive bot net infection impacting Macintosh computers. The Dr.Web report met with a fair amount of skepticism until confirmed by Kaspersky researchers.

Estimates are that around 1 percent of all Macs worldwide have been infected with the Flashback trojan, with the largest majority in the U.S. and Canada.

Detection and Removal

If you or a friend has a Mac, there are a couple of simple methods for Mac users to check to see if their computer is infected with Flashback:
  1. via Forbes, An Easy Way To Check Your Mac For The Flashback Malware 
  2. via DrWeb, Dr.Web C&C Botnet HW-UUID checker

F-Secure provided removal instructions at Threat Description: Trojan-Downloader:OSX/Flashback.K. Because the OSX/Flashback Trojan uses a flaw in Oracle’s Java, F-Secure also provided instructions for Mac users to Update, Disable or Remove Your Java.

So, do Mac or Windows users really need Java? Following are reasons why someone may need Oracle Sun Java installed on their computer:

  • Playing on-line games generally requires Java.
  • With OpenOffice, Java is needed for the items listed here .
  • It used to be that Java was needed for websites to be properly displayed. However, that is generally not the case now with Flash having taken over.
  • There may be commercial programs that depend on Java. If Java is needed for a software installed on your computer, there should be a prompt for it.
If the above does not apply to you, consider uninstalling Java. In the event you discover that it is needed, you can always download the most recent version.

Protect Your Mac

With Windows operating systems being the majority, they have long been the the target of malware writers. As a result, it is seldom that I see a Windows OS without an antivirus software installed. The same is not the case for Mac users, although perhaps now they will see the light. Most antivirus vendors now provide licensed software specifically designed for Macs. There are also a few free programs available:

Free A/V for Macintosh:

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

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