600K Mac laptops reportedly affected by Flashback Trojan malware. Mac Virus called Flashback Trojan is comeback and has been infecting more than half a million Mac computers. It is a malware that disables a computer’s security software the moment it is downloaded!!!!!
Mac virus: flashback trojan malware affects 600000 Mac laptops
Mac virus is here once again. Flashback trojan malware affects 600000 Mac laptops Half a million Mac computers ‘infected with malware’
Apple laptop computer Dr Web says most infected computers are in the US
Apple is infected with a virus. A Russian anti-virus firm has reported that more than half a million Macs have become the victims of the Flashback Trojan.
Flashback Trojan is a malware that disables a computer’s security software the moment it is downloaded. So far the number of affected Macs, according to security firm DrWeb, is 600,000. Most of these computers are based in the US. These infected Macs have the malware installed and now can be hijacked to be used as a “botnet”.
Apple has already come out with a security update to protect vulnerable Macs from the attack of Flashback Trojan. However, the Mac owners who have not installed the update are still vulnerable.
Informing about the malware, the security firm stated that after installation, Flashback Trojan sends a message to the intruder’s control server with a unique ID to identify the infected machine.
Boris Sharov, chief executive of Dr Web, said, “By introducing the code criminals are potentially able to control the machine. We stress the word potential as we have never seen any malicious activity since we hijacked the botnet to take it out of criminals’ hands. However, we know people create viruses to get money.
“The largest amounts of bots – based on the IP addresses we identified – are in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, so it appears to have targeted English-speaking people,” he added.
Ironically, 274 of the infected computers appeared to be located in Cupertino, California – where the Apple headquarters is situated, Dr Web reported.
Flashback is not a new malware. It was first detected in September last year. Anti-virus researchers found a fishy software masquerading as a Flash Player update. When the ‘Flash Player’ update was duly downloaded, instead it went on to disable some key security features of the computer. This raised the red flag for the researchers and Flashback Trojan was then identified.
Later, Flashback’s new version came out that exploited weaknesses in the Java programming language to allow the code to be installed from bogus sites without the user’s permission.
Immediately after the discovery, Oracle, Java’s developer, issued a fix for this new vulnerability. However, it did not good to Mac users as the Java updates on Macs are managed by Apple and not Oracle! So now Apple has come out with its own security update, but it took another eight weeks after the update released by Oracle. Besides, an update has also been posted by security firm F-Secure that includes detailed instructions about how to confirm if a machine is infected and how to remove the Trojan.
Talking about the half a million infected Macs, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at antivirus and computer security firm F-Secure, said, “It’s the biggest, by far. I’m afraid the malware-free times of Mac users are behind us permanently.”
Catalin Cosoi, chief security researcher for antivirus-software maker Bitdefender, said, “600,000 represents around 12 percent 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 percent 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.”
Timur Tsoriev, an analyst at Kaspersky Lab, said aloud what is in everyone’s mind now, “People used to say that Apple computers, unlike Windows PCs, can’t ever be infected – but it’s a myth.” (nvonews.com)