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Apple Releases Update to Take Care of Flashback Malware

By - Source: Apple | B 32 comments

A Java update to cleanse your computer of that nasty Flashback business.

Apple has released a Java update for Macs infected with the Flashback Malware that has infected hundreds of thousands of Apple computers. The news comes hot on the heels of Kaspersky's recall of its own Flashback removal tool, which the company said contained a bug that could cause issues for some users.

Apple said in a statement today that the update would remove the most common variants of the Flashback malware as well as configuring Java to disable the automatic execution of Java applets.

"Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application," Apple said via its support pages. "If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets," the company continued adding that the update was recommended for all Mac users with Java installed.

News of the Flashback botnet first emerged last week, after Russian antivirus company Dr. Web claimed that more that 600,000 Macs -- most of which were located in the States and Canada -- were infected with a trojan horse virus called "Flashback," or rather, "BackDoor.Flashback.39." Dr. Web's report said that 56.6-percent of the infected computers were in the United States (303,449 infected hosts), and 19.8-percent reside in Canada (106,379 infected hosts). The United Kingdom follows with 12.8-percent and Australia with 6.1-percent. Other infected Macs reside in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brazil and many more countries.

Kaspersky released a removal tool for the virus earlier this week but it was later recalled after a bug in the software was discovered.

"In some cases it is possible that the use of the tool could result in erroneous removal of certain user settings including auto-start configurations, user configurations in browsers, and file sharing data, the company said in an email sent to Tom's on Thursday, adding "The Kaspersky Flashfake Removal Tool has been temporarily suspended."

The company was planning to release an updated version of the utility with the bug corrected but the official fix from Apple is now available from its website. Hit up the link to get started.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    memadmax , April 13, 2012 6:09 PM
    "Over 600,000 macs were infected"

    So, that pretty much means all of them right?

    ROFL
  • 22 Hide
    tempelife , April 13, 2012 6:16 PM
    I thought Macs didn't get viruses. ***cough/sarcasm***
  • 19 Hide
    DroKing , April 13, 2012 6:21 PM
    @gene

    We would'nt be bashing Macs as much if They stopped acting like their products are the BEST and are A MUST HAVE when they arent. along with users denying that MACs can get infested. The day those cease is the day I just might show Crapple products an oz of respect meanwhile I'm gonna poke funnies at them on daily basis.
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    memadmax , April 13, 2012 6:09 PM
    "Over 600,000 macs were infected"

    So, that pretty much means all of them right?

    ROFL
  • 22 Hide
    tempelife , April 13, 2012 6:16 PM
    I thought Macs didn't get viruses. ***cough/sarcasm***
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , April 13, 2012 6:20 PM
    I'm surprised nobody has come up with an iPhone trojan that calls a $1.99/minute number in Siberia.
    With millions of those bricks out there one should be able to clean up nicely :-)
  • 19 Hide
    DroKing , April 13, 2012 6:21 PM
    @gene

    We would'nt be bashing Macs as much if They stopped acting like their products are the BEST and are A MUST HAVE when they arent. along with users denying that MACs can get infested. The day those cease is the day I just might show Crapple products an oz of respect meanwhile I'm gonna poke funnies at them on daily basis.
  • 12 Hide
    JamesSneed , April 13, 2012 6:22 PM
    How many times have I heard Macs don't get malware/ viruses / trojans? Got to love the irony of that self-defeating prophecy.
  • 10 Hide
    Murissokah , April 13, 2012 6:25 PM
    generalcleanYou are naive to think there are only 600,000 macs in the world. I know you are joking but come on, get a life. So what if you don't like Macs...


    Somebody can't take a joke...

    generalcleanThey all have there place in this world.


    Apply grammar hammer here.

  • 4 Hide
    tsnorquist , April 13, 2012 6:34 PM
    The Internet doesn't tolerate errors @Generalclean.

    You should have put "their" in ""!

    PS: Just giving you a hard time =)
  • 12 Hide
    xenol , April 13, 2012 6:38 PM
    Claiming your system is immune to the security problems that "PCs" have was just an invitation to hackers everywhere.
  • 5 Hide
    Trueno07 , April 13, 2012 6:42 PM
    A virus that infected 600,000 computers? Terrible, buggy, and broken anti virus software?

    It's official, mac's can get viruses.
  • 5 Hide
    coreym72 , April 13, 2012 6:56 PM
    My Hackintosh is fine. I just hit the revert to snapshot button while running on my pristine Windows host. :) 
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , April 13, 2012 7:25 PM
    generalcleanYou are naive to think there are only 600,000 macs in the world. I know you are joking but come on, get a life. So what if you don't like Macs. Have you ever even used one? I've used Windows, Macs and Linux. They all have there place in this world. Grow up and get used to change. I'm just sick and tired of all these Mac bashing going on. I like Windows better then Macs as Windows is the main stream and is a cheaper OS, but Macs are good to.


    Dude, I've used macs since before you were wearing diapers....
    I was even playing Carmen Sandiago and Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe when you were swimming around in your daddies sack....
    Then I played with the Mac Classic, LCIII's, etc etc etc.....
  • 0 Hide
    hwangchan , April 13, 2012 7:36 PM
    So theres a lot of talk about flashback.. but what threat is it actually? is it a self replicating back door, as garnered from the file name?

    Has anyone seen a report on what it does outside of it being a trojan?
  • -6 Hide
    molo9000 , April 13, 2012 8:08 PM
    At least every single security threat for Mac OS X is big news on all tech sites.

    Right now I'm having to reinstall Windows 7 on my rootkitted gaming machine. Fully patched 64bit Win 7 with Microsoft Security Essentials and only software from legitimate sources installed.
  • -4 Hide
    molo9000 , April 13, 2012 8:12 PM
    hwangchanSo theres a lot of talk about flashback.. but what threat is it actually? is it a self replicating back door, as garnered from the file name?Has anyone seen a report on what it does outside of it being a trojan?


    I think one variant of it was a mere Trojan but a later variant used a Java exploit. Opening a website with a java applet could infect a machine. Apple patched the Java vulnerabilities one ore two weeks ago.
  • 11 Hide
    g-thor , April 13, 2012 8:39 PM
    @molo9000

    You probably got the rootkit on your machine from the legitimate software - only they call it DRM.
  • 5 Hide
    jimmysmitty , April 13, 2012 8:53 PM
    Apple is in essence admiting to a virus and fixing it?

    Hell must have frozen over.....
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