Apple releases tool to tackle Flashback malware

By Sooraj Shah
13 Apr 2012 View Comments

Apple has developed software that it says will detect and remove the Flashback malware that has affected thousands of Macintosh computers.

The latest version of Flashback Trojan exploits a vulnerability in Java to infect users by installing itself on Macs.

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Two days ago, Apple said it was working with ISPs worldwide to disable this command and control network. It has since released a Java security update that it says will "remove the most common variants of the Flashback malware".

Yesterday a report from security firm Kaspersky Lab's news service, Threatpost, said that many Mac users were making it easier for their Macs to be infected as they had not updated Java on a frequent basis.

"Failing to update plugins and other software can make life much easier for the attackers, and it seems that there's a pretty large population of users out there who are doing just that.

"Statistics compiled by the researchers at Kaspersky Lab show that half of the users who have visited the company's site to see whether their machines are infected by the malware are running old versions of Java," the report stated.

Security firm Symantec said that the infection rates have remained relatively high, suggesting that many users have not taken the necessary steps to remove the malware.

It said that Apple's security update and various tools developed by security vendors will help reduce the number of infections.

On its website, Apple said that the update is recommended for all Mac users with Java installed.

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