Apple Virus, Flashback Trojan, Already Infected Over 600k Macs


09.04.2012

Apple Virus, Flashback Trojan, Already Infected Over 600k Macs

For the past few years the Mac owners though that not only their machines were cooler, but also safer. Apple has made its customers believe that their computers can’t be harmed by viruses or any other kind of malware. Well, an event that happened last week proved everything wrong as a team of security researches found out a new virus that infected more than 500,000 Mac users (half of them only in the US).

The virus is a malicious program, also known as a Trojan horse, is a very tricky one being able to infest the users in the most clandestine way. Usually, in order activate a virus the user has to download a malicious content or click on a spiteful link. In this case there is no need for any of that. The malicious program is able to download itself. Once it does that, the person who created it gets access to everything the user has in his computer without being aware of what’s happening. The team which discovered this is actually a Russian anti-virus firm called Dr Web.

As a reaction to recent events, Apple has released a security update, but unfortunately not all Mac users know about its existence and until they install the patch they are still exposed to the dangerous threat. The Flashback Trojan was discovered in September when the researchers flagged it up impersonating an update for Flash Player. When the users downloaded it some of their machines’ security programs were disabled. After that, more evolved versions of the malicious software emerged and managed to exploit the Java programming language’s weakness. This has allowed the malware to be installed on the machines from malicious websites with no need for the user’s approval.

The Russian anti-virus firm explained how the virus works. After it installs itself on the user’s machine it manages to send a message to its creator’s control server. The message contains a unique ID and the intruder identifies the infected Mac. After that, the criminal has full control over the machine and implicitly its content.

On February 14, Oracle, which is the developing company of Java, released a patch in order to fix the problem. However, due to the fact that the Java updates are issued by Apple when in comes to Macs, the patch did not work. Eight week after that, Apple issued its own security patch. The update can be activated by simply clicking on the icon that says software update which can be found in the preferences panel of the computer.

If you own a Mac and want to make sure your machine is not infected with the virus, you can do that by following the instructions posted by F-Secure, a security firm. Following these steps you will now if your computer is infected and if it is you will find out how to get rid of it.

This latest incidents shows that Apple computers are not as safe as the manufacturer and the owners though it is. Even if the system software created by Apple has the ability to limit the actions taken by its computers with no need for the user’s approval, it is clear that the system doesn’t always work as it should.

An official statement from Apple did not appear until now, but one thing is sure, the slogan which says the PC is the only machine that can be infected by malware and the Mac is absolutely invulnerable is just a myth.

Tags: apple, infected, virus, malicious, security, after, machine, users, update, patch, software, firm, computers, users, malware, computer, trojan, java, their, only, says, over, found, released, created, able, program, russian, flashback, download