Mac Malware and Malicious Links


I’ve been mentioning this occasionally but many of my Mac friends tend to dismiss it as the rantings of a PC person. I hope that you will take it seriously and protect yourself but also let your friends know. Mac malware is very much on the rise. This article is from Huffington Post.

Mac Flashback Trojan Affecting Thousands: Apple Issues Fix To Stop The Spread

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 04/ 5/2012 2:48 pm Updated: 04/ 5/2012 2:48 pm

 
Mac Flashback Trojan

If you thought your Mac was safe from harmful computer viruses, think again.

Ars Technica reported on April 4 that the “Mac Flashback trojan” has returned with a vengeance in recent weeks, now affecting hundreds of thousands of Apple laptops.

Ars first reported about the issue on April 2, explaining that anti-virus and computer security firm F-Secure had spotted the virus in action.

Later, on April 4, the site pointed out that it was Russian IT-security solutions vendor Dr. Web that revealed how widespread the problem has become in a post published on the Dr. Web blog earlier on the same day.

Dr. Web explained that a system gets infected with the Mac Flashback trojan “after a user is redirected to a bogus site from a compromised resource or via a traffic distribution system.” A specific JavaScript code on the site that contains the virus is then used to load a Java applet, which is how the malware makes its way onto a user’s computer.

In response to the problem, Apple released an update on April 3 to patch up the security holes that exist in Java. While all Mac-owners should make sure to update their devices, you can always check to see if your Mac has been infected using your device’s Terminal. Directions for this process, as well as for how you can manually disinfect your Mac, have been provided by F-Secure. (You can access the patches via Apple Support, here or here.)

As of April 4, Dr. Web found that more than half of the 555,000 infected computers were in the United States, nearly 20 percent were in Canada and nearly 13 percent were in the United Kingdom.

Malware analyst Sorokin Ivan has since shared that the virus has now reached 600,000 devices, tweeting the following, later on in the day on April 4:

 

Dr. Web estimates that half a million Macs were infected by the Flashback trojan. averysawaba.blogspot.com/2012/04/over-h… We can’t confirm or deny the figure.

 

@mikko, at this moment botnet Flashback over 600k, include 274 bots from Cupertino and special for you Mikko – 285 from Finland

First signs of the Mac Flashback trojan appeared last September; back then the virus had weaseled its way onto devices through malicious links offering installation of Flash Player.

The virus eventually prompted software company Oracle — which, according to CNNMoney, has been responsible for Java programming since it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 — to release a Java security update on February 14, more than a month before Apple did.

Mike Geide, senior security researcher at cloud security company Zscaler ThreatLabZ, warned of the importance of keeping your software up to date, no matter what OS you use.

“This latest wave of infections is a wake-up call to Mac users that their system is not immune to threats,” Geide said in an emailed statement. “And the need to follow best security practices, such as remaining current with patches, is ubiquitous — it doesn’t matter if you’re using Windows, Mac, or even mobile phone.”

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