Number Of Flashback Infected Macs Drops To 30,000, Threat Of More Malware On The Rise

Number Of Flashback Infected Macs Drops To 30,000, Threat Of More Malware On The Rise

We may start seeing more viruses make their way to the Mac.

The Flashback trojan has been making the news after it was discovered that 600,000 Macs had been infected with the malware. Apple released security patches to combat the update, and a recent update from Norton Symantec indicated that the number of infected Macs dropped to 140,000 4 days later.

Now another statement from Russian security firm Kaspersky reveals that the number of infected Macs has plummeted to 30,000. According to Kaspersky, Mac users should start being more wary of malware when surfing the web.

Number Of Flashback Infected Macs Drops To 30,000, Threat Of More Malware On The Rise

Kaspersky also offered a tool to the public for detecting Flashback on infected Macs when the threat was initially making headlines.

Interestingly, Kaspersky says that Flashback spread by mainly hijacking WordPress sites and exploiting a vulnerability in the blogging platform’s software infrastructure. So instead of only getting the trojan after visiting a shady website, Mac users could have been infected by seemingly-legitimate WordPress sites.

Symantec said that 140,000 Macs were still infected as of Tuesday, so Kaspersky’s numbers show quite the dip, assuming the data is accurate from both sources. Whatever the case, the threat of Flashback is fading rapidly.

Ars Technica reports:

“Market share brings attacker motivation,” the firm told members of the press in its presentation. “Expect more drive-by downloads, more Mac OS X mass-malware. Expect cross-platform exploit kits with Mac-specific exploits.”

The introduction of Gatekeeper in OS X Mountain Lion should help to deter the threat of malware for Mac users. But as Apple’s market share in the desktop PC space grows, attackers will see an even greater opportunity to create viruses for OS X. The age of innocence for the Mac may soon be drawing to an end.

[image via Macgasm]

  • deevalina58

    This is such B_llSH_T!, this is nothing more than the ole P.C. Anti Virus Programs SCAM. PC owners are literally extorted endlessly with, these programs to combat viruses that are probably created by the same companies issuing the programs to allegedly eradicate them. So now with SJ gone, the greedy s.o.b.’s at Apple want to join in the extortion.

  • Tallest_Skil

    I refuse to listen to these numbers until it’s not an anti-virus company reporting them.

    I still believe that many exploits are found and taken advantage of by the companies DIRECTLY.

  • lwdesign1

    First of all, we need to bring the hysteria level down to mild concern. OK, there’s a single Trojan that infected 600,000 Macs that did no damage to the host computers and only assisted in a botnet invasion. Second, Apple has promptly released fixes for it. Third, anti-virus/malware companies have been waiting for years for this kind of exploit so they can sell software to all those smug Mac users.

    Windows has hundreds of thousands of viruses, trojans, spyware and other crud, and this is regarded as normal. Then someone finally writes ONE successful trojan for the Mac platform, and all of a sudden the sky is falling–despite Apple’s quick solutions that have all but decimated the trojan internationally.

    The Mac is not suddenly becoming a target because of its increased market share. I’ve heard this crap for years, and it still makes no sense and is not based on logic. The Mac’s Unix underpinnings simply make it damn difficult to hack. I have complete confidence in Apple’s ability to handle the very few exploits that may occur, and I urge everyone to pay no attention to the software vendors and authors like Alex Heath who see visions of the Mac OS becoming as riddled with malware as Windows. One squashed Mac trojan does not equal hundreds of thousands. In the 23 years I’ve used a Mac for work and at home, I’ve had exactly ONE bit of malware infect my systems, and that was in the 90’s on OS 9–and even then, Apple had a fix out in a week that handled it.

  • Christian Moesgaard

    This is such B_llSH_T!, this is nothing more than the ole P.C. Anti Virus Programs SCAM. PC owners are literally extorted endlessly with, these programs to combat viruses that are probably created by the same companies issuing the programs to allegedly eradicate them. So now with SJ gone, the greedy s.o.b.’s at Apple want to join in the extortion.

    I agree with this. It’s incredible what’s happening on the PC market. I don’t use antivirus, and I don’t feel I need one, and I find it utterly hideous that you need to pay monthly subscription fees for big, annoying utilities that run all the time using up tons of harddisk capacity, creates a lot of false alarms for all manner of software, is really invasive and often harder to remove than actual viruses, and actually deals with what is a threat you can entirely avoid using:
    1) A brain that’s powerful enough to understand that downloading .dll’s and .exe’s from random sites you don’t know is bad.
    2) NoScript and/or AdBlock on a very secure browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Or a very unpopular one like Safari (let’s face it guys, Safari is fucking useless on Windows. It really is. I love it on Mac, but really)
    3) A firewall with all incoming ports closed.

    That’s it. That’s all you need. Antivirus programs are USELESS because they try to fix the problem after it has occurred and often fail at that, rather than preventing the problem in the first place. Besides, Windows 7 handles security pretty well. I’ve never had a virus on it, whereas XP was infected 24/7 unless you followed the above 3 rules to the letter and very carefully.

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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