Apple and its products have a reputation of being less prone to viruses. But that era seems to be over now. As Apple products get more popular, they are increasingly becoming targets of the hackers. DrWeb, a Russian security company first reported a few days ago that a virus named “Flashback Trojan” was spreading fast. It was estimated by the DrWeb that the virus had affected as many as 600,000 Macs. The virus exploits a Java vulnerability and gets installed when a user visits an infected website. Once downloaded the Trojan sends a message to its server with a unique code of the machine. After which the attacker can get remote control of the machine and use it as a bot. Oracle had already released a patch for java in 2010 but it was useless for Macs because Apple itself regulates and installs updates on Macs. Apple released a fix in April when already 600,000 computers had been infected. It has been estimated by DrWeb that more than half of the infected Macs are in the United States. In fact the company highlighted that the city of Cupertino, where Apple has its headquarters, also had 274 infections.
Many critics are raising fingers at delayed release of fix by Apple. Given the seriousness of the situation, they are of the view that Apple should have taken the issue more seriously and released a fix as soon as the vulnerability was discovered in September last year. Oracle patched the Java vulnerability in February this year but Apple released the fix only after the trojan had grown to the dimensions of the biggest Mac threat to date. If you are one of the victims of this virus or if you want to know whether your Mac is free from the Flasback Trojan, you might visit a tutorial Mac Flashback Trojan: Find Out If You’re One of the 600,000 Infected by GIZMODO. Symantec has said in a blog post that as of April 16, still 140,000 Mac users were affected even after Apple has made available a Flashback Trojan Removal tool.
The computer security firm Sophos has advised the Mac users to immediately update their computers as per the latest security updates from Apple. Simultaneously the Mac users have been warned that they should stop relying on the simple fact that their computers are updated to the latest security patches. They should rather use some kind of preventive security like an antivirus to protect themselves from future attacks. It is recommended that you install and run the removal tool even if your Mac does not have Java.
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