For those of you, who have been worshipping Apple as secure “right out of the box” devices, think again! It has been confirmed that a Trojan christened ‘Flashback’ has affected an estimate of 600,000 or more Mac’s OSX around the world and is reported to be the worst security disaster to have ever hit these machines. Dr. Web, a popular Russian security solution vendor has the break-up and details of the trojan’s reach.
According to Catalin Cosoi, chief security researcher for antivirus-software maker Bitdefender, “600,000 represents around 12 per cent of the Mac OS computers sold in Q4 2011 which means that if we count the number of Mac OS devices sold in the past three years, we can estimate that less than 1 per cent of the Mac OS computers are possibly infected. On the other hand, if we look at the actual numbers and not at the percentages, the numbers look pretty scary.”
What is being done?
Apple has issued a fix which should remove the Trojan automatically. Although the threat is currently classified as “low”, Mac users have been warned not to open unfamiliar files or attachments and to turn off Safari’s setting for opening safe files automatically. Anti-virus firm, F-Secure, has also posted a manual method of removing infection online, which can be found at http://tdy.sg/osxflashback. This has to be done manually so might involve a bit of risk.
Once you are off the Trojan please update your software from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1338. Thereafter it is recommended that you download and install a reliable anti-virus software. Some of the best known ones for the Mac include ClamXAV, Sophos, Avast to name a few. And for the future it would be best to disable Java in Apple’s Safari. Select ‘Preferences…’ and click that window’s Security heading, then click to clear the checkbox next to ‘Enable Java’ for the same.
For now we really hope there isn’t another wave of the malware attack and for those who have been affected already, we wish you a iSpeedy recovery.