Macs Infected With Flashback Drop To 140,000 After Apple Releases Removal Tool [Report]

Macs Infected With Flashback Drop To 140,000 After Apple Releases Removal Tool [Report]

Apple has crippled Flashback significantly, but many Mac users have not yet taken action to remove the trojan.

The notorious Flashback trojan infected 600,000 Macs over the last year. We’ve been following Flashback closely, and Apple started waging its war on the botnet earlier this month. After releasing two security updates and one final tool to remove Flashback from infected Macs, Apple has nearly killed Flashback once and for all.

According to new research from Norton Symantec research, Flashback now infects around 140,000 Macs. That’s a significant drop considering Apple’s removal tool was only released 4 days ago.

Macs Infected With Flashback Drop To 140,000 After Apple Releases Removal Tool [Report]

“Given the number of removal tools and Apple security updates now available, it was hoped that the decline would be greater at this point, ” Norton told Cult of Mac.  “There remains a significant number of Mac users who haven’t followed the simple and necessary steps to bring the infection numbers down to zero.”

Flashback infects Macs by exploiting Java in a browser like Safari or Google Chrome. The malware then links your Mac up to a botnet of other infected machines that are all sending web activity, logins, etc. to the same network. All this is done by visiting a malicious website and allowing a Java applet to gain access to your system.

You can disable Java on your Mac to completely get rid of any threat, but installing Apple’s Java security updates should also do the trick. There are also multiple tools for detecting and removing Flashback, including FlashBackChecker from Kaspersky Lab. It’s always smart to stay on top of software updates to keep your Mac as secure as possible.

  • Tallest_Skil

    These numbers are as fake as the original ones.

  • kootenayredneck

    More bullshit from Symantec.

  • Andrew John

    How on Earth do they come up with these numbers? Unless they were the originator of the trojan. I call BS on these numbers. If I had the trojan, how the hell would they know?

  • nolavabo

    The Russian firm that first broke the news claims to have seized control of the servers that the Trojan dials back into after installation. Thus (they claim) they have accurate numbers.

    However, this brings up two points in my mind.

    How do you seize somebody else’s servers; Is Russia still the wild west? And if the Russian security firm has control of the servers, then doesn’t the number of Flashback infections actually mean NOTHING AT ALL as a white hat gunslinger owns them?

  • Downs

    still another one: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/new-targeted-mac-os-x-trojan-requires-no-user-interaction/11545?tag=nl.e019

    and make sure to update microsoft office.

    I miss the goo ol’ days when people didn’t care about hacking and attacking macs. Now there seems to be a decent sized group of individuals who want to take advantage of the care-free population portion of mac users.

  • trolololololol

    lol mac’s

  • Downs

    lol mac’s

    I like your username. It matches your comment haha

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and 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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