Apple: We’re Working On Software To Find And Kill The Flashback Trojan

Apple: We’re Working On Software To Find And Kill The Flashback Trojan

Get it? It's a trojan and Apple.

A Mac trojan called Flashback resurfaced in the news over the last week or so after it was revealed that 600,000+ Macs were infected by the nefarious botnet. We’ve showed you how to see if you’re infected by Flashback, and Apple has released two updates already to patch the malware.

Apple is about to get into the antivirus business, as the company has said that it is working its own tool for you to detect and remove Flashback once and for all. The folks in Cupertino will also be working with ISPs around the globe to hunt down the source of this botnet and kill it at the root.

A recent version of malicious software called Flashback exploits a security flaw in Java in order to install itself on Macs.

Apple released a Java update on April 3, 2012 that fixes the Java security flaw for systems running OS X v10.7 and Mac OS X v10.6. By default, your Mac automatically checks for software updates every week, but you can change that setting in Software Update preferences. You can also run Software Update at any time to manually check for the latest updates.

Apple is developing software that will detect and remove the Flashback malware.

In addition to the Java vulnerability, the Flashback malware relies on computer servers hosted by the malware authors to perform many of its critical functions. Apple is working with ISPs worldwide to disable this command and control network.

Apple also recommends disabling Java if you think you’re infected. As we’ve shown you before, it’s pretty easy to see if you’ve fallen prey to Flashback or not. As always, you’re safest on the most recent version of Mac OS X.

  • likethepear

    I’ve read all over the place that we Mac users should disable Java, but nobody tells us how. Not all of us are super nerds, ya know! But our Macs are just as important to us as yours are to you.

  • Piotr Teicher

    “Disable Java” they say? It’s like time machine… Just jump back in time to ’90 and surf an internet without anything but images and text… Maybe it’s time to admit – Mac DO get viruses. Lots of them. And isn’t safet then Windows XP without antivirus. Times has changed, so Mac “safety”.

  • Lane Jasper

    @teiczer: I wouldn’t say the gets “lots of them” yet anyway. There’s only been a few and most of them have been harmless in most cases. I do agree about the diabling java not an option (thats realistic anyway) and there’s already a scan and fix for this so Apple, you’re too late it’s been handled.

  • Alfred2612

    Oracle (owner of Java) released their own patch to cover this security hole EIGHT WEEKS before Apple managed it last week.

    This means many of those 600k+ Macs becoming infected was largely due to Apple’s own negligence.

    And look, here we are, days later, and Apple still hasn’t yet released an official removal tool. Yes, the amateur bloggers were faster than Apple’s own security department! What the heck is going on over there?

    Da fuq, Apple?

  • Lane Jasper

    @likethepear: you go into applications/utilities/jave preferences and there’s al kinds of settings you can tweak/disable etc.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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