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Over 600,000 Macs Infected With Flashback Malware

By - Source: Mashable | B 108 comments

There's a Flashback botnet consisting of 600,000 Apple Macs, some of which reside in Apple's hometown.

Typically when we hear the word "malware" or "trojan," the Windows PC or Android platform come to mind. But now Apple's built-in deflector shield in its Mac OS X platform has proven to be not quite so resistant after all, as Russian antivirus company Dr. Web is now claiming that more that 600,000 Macs -- most of which reside in the States and Canada -- are infected with a trojan horse virus called "Flashback," or rather, "BackDoor.Flashback.39."

Originally the number was 550,000 infected Macs, but the company later tweeted a correction with the current number. The report states that 56.6-percent of the infected computers reside 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.

274 infections are based in Cupertino, Calif., Apple’s hometown, Dr. Web said.

"Systems get infected with BackDoor.Flashback.39 after a user is redirected to a bogus site from a compromised resource or via a traffic distribution system," the company said on Wednesday. "JavaScript code is used to load a Java-applet containing an exploit. Doctor Web's virus analysts discovered a large number of web-sites containing the code."

"Links to more than four million compromised web-pages could be found on a Google SERP at the end of March. In addition, some posts on Apple user forums described cases of infection by BackDoor.Flashback.39 when visiting dlink.com," Dr. Web added.

Flashback was originally uncovered by Intego back in September 2011, disguised as an installer application for Adobe Flash. Once it was installed by the end-user, the trojan would deactivate network security features and then install a dyld library that would inject code into running applications. It would also scoop up personal information and send the data to remote servers.

"Each [Flashback] bot includes a unique ID of the infected machine into the query string it sends to a control server. Doctor Web's analysts employed the sinkhole technology to redirect the botnet traffic to their own servers and thus were able to count infected hosts," the antivirus company said.

The Mac-based botnet arrives while Apple pushes the Mac OS X platform as a more secure environment than Windows. "A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers," states Apple on its homepage. "That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part."

Looks like Apple needs to re-route power to the OS X deflector shield, as alien code is beaming in despite the company's "we've better than Windows" stance.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2012 1:34 AM
    looks like mac os is not so secure after all :) 
  • 32 Hide
    v3nom777 , April 6, 2012 1:35 AM
    Does anybody even need to comment?
  • 31 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 6, 2012 1:40 AM
    This comment should take care of my thoughts on this one: ROFLMAO!!
Other Comments
  • 33 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2012 1:34 AM
    looks like mac os is not so secure after all :) 
  • 32 Hide
    v3nom777 , April 6, 2012 1:35 AM
    Does anybody even need to comment?
  • 28 Hide
    alikum , April 6, 2012 1:38 AM
    v3nom777Does anybody even need to comment?

    I guess the comment section is better off left clear for Apple fanboys to have their say or rebuttal
  • 31 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 6, 2012 1:40 AM
    This comment should take care of my thoughts on this one: ROFLMAO!!
  • 30 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 6, 2012 1:43 AM
    I thought MACs don't get viruses. Or that's what I was told. Oh well. Now I guess I can say this: ROFLMAO!!
  • 28 Hide
    glarimore , April 6, 2012 1:50 AM
    Once market share of a piece of software/OS gets to the point where it's profitable for malware producers to make malware for it, they will. The only reason that we've seen so much malware on PCs in the past is that most computers have been PCs.

    This was bound to happen eventually.
  • 19 Hide
    Delengowski , April 6, 2012 1:52 AM
    Oh how I wish I still had facebook, there are some people I know that I would to post this on their wall. About time all those fanboys who swear mac can't get virus start to stfu.
  • 21 Hide
    joytech22 , April 6, 2012 1:52 AM
    Problem, Apple?

    Seems a few people started to take on those claims and look what happened?
  • 4 Hide
    rattyuk , April 6, 2012 1:55 AM
    Here's the thing. Anyone bothered to do anything more than reprint this Russian company's PR?
  • 9 Hide
    aznguy0028 , April 6, 2012 1:59 AM
    I would also like to add in my piece of intellectual thought for this conversation: LULZ, problem... macs?
  • 5 Hide
    Vladislaus , April 6, 2012 2:06 AM
    Why does America has such a high percentage of infected Macs when compared to other countries?
  • 23 Hide
    Pinhedd , April 6, 2012 2:10 AM
    rattyukHere's the thing. Anyone bothered to do anything more than reprint this Russian company's PR?


    They're not lying. Every time there's a hacking competition the OSX platform is the first to fall
  • 24 Hide
    jdw_swb , April 6, 2012 2:10 AM
    But....but......I thought Macs couldn't get viruses.

    *They lied to us all*
  • 15 Hide
    halcyon , April 6, 2012 2:15 AM
    I have several Macs. Only those really ignorant believe that Macs are less susceptible to malware. I know I'll be checking my Mac's anti-malware implementations to ensure that all is what its expected to be.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2012 2:17 AM
    Ha - I turned FLASH off on my browser - it obliterates the CPUs and starts up all by itself because of some alleged FLASH event, such as passing through a webpage with flash content. Flash, java - all the dogs of the internet...and now carriers for viruses.
  • 15 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2012 2:20 AM
    Macs can get a virus. They don't because most of the viruses out there are for Windows. Also as Apple said there are a TON of defenses built-in to the OS that HELP prevent viruses. There is NO computer in the entire world or will ever be that is 100% virus proof. If you believed that Macs cannot get a virus then you are living in a dream world. And if you believed what people told you about Macs never able to contract a virus then you are dumber than the people who told that to you.

    And for the record I am an avid apple user, but I'm also realistic. I know Macs can get a virus, and yes it was bound to happen eventually, but I also protect my macbook as much as possible by using an anti-virus and by being smart and using basic (common) sense.

    For those who think this is a HUGE deal and that this is something to cut down mac users, GUESS WHAT, this is not the first mac specific virus out there. Nor will it be the last.
  • 2 Hide
    darkstar845 , April 6, 2012 2:24 AM
    My safari homepage changed to mystart.com all by itself, does that count as malware?
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