Skip to main content

Apple Finally Issues Flashback Removal Tool for Leopard

Apple has released a tool for users still running OS X Leopard. The tool will purge Leopard users machines of the Flashback malware that has been plaguing Mac computers over the last few weeks.

Apple released an update to kill the Flashback malware several weeks ago, in early April. However, until today, Cupertino had yet to issue a patch for users running its older operating system. Apple's Flashback Removal Security Update (opens in new tab) removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware. If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will notify the user that the malware was removed. A second update (opens in new tab) disables versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not include the latest security updates and provides the option to get the current version from Adobe's website. If you're running anything earlier than Mac OS X v10.5.8, you'll also need to update your OS before you can install these two new updates.

Word of the Flashback botnet first emerged on April 4, after Russian antivirus company Dr. Web claimed that more that 600,000 Macs -- most of which were located in the United 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 resided in Canada (106,379 infected hosts). The United Kingdom followed with 12.8-percent and Australia with 6.1-percent. Other infected Macs were spread across many other countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Brazil.

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter.           

  • WHComp
    This can't be. Did they forget? "Apple computers don't get viruses"
    Reply
  • Ezence
    Why was the patch for this version of macOS released so late?
    Reply
  • pneumo
    Cause they where in denial?
    Reply
  • molo9000
    EzenceWhy was the patch for this version of macOS released so late?I think Apple usually doesn't support OS versions more than 2 generations old (10.6 was released 3 years ago), but I guess they changed their mind because every infected user is bad press.

    btw: 10.5 was the last OS X version to support the old PowerPC architecture, but does Flashback even work on PPC?
    Reply
  • del35
    Why did they bother? iZombies still believe macs are impervious to viri.
    Reply
  • willard
    del35viri.Not a word. The plural of virus is viruses. Idiot script kiddies have been misspelling it for years trying to look smart.
    Reply
  • warezme
    who cares, viri, viruses..., this is a comment section not a thesis.
    Reply
  • Vladislaus
    molo9000I think Apple usually doesn't support OS versions more than 2 generations old (10.6 was released 3 years ago), but I guess they changed their mind because every infected user is bad press.btw: 10.5 was the last OS X version to support the old PowerPC architecture, but does Flashback even work on PPC?So you mean that Apple doesn't support OS versions more than 1 generation old. That gives a version about 3 years of support. I can understand they not giving support to to versions older than 10.5, but since 10.5 was the last version one could install on the Mac powered by PowerPCs, so their support cycle should be extended.
    Reply
  • Hspito
    I will take a few 100's viruses over a few 100,000 viruses any given day. Plus when was the last time that MS released an update to fix your infected computer. The most they will do is to suggest an antivirus for you to buy. Oh! and renew every year too...... BTW I know you can get a decent free AV online.
    Just my opinion.
    Reply
  • Northwestern
    Sounds about right. It took Microsoft a month to release the fix to Windows XP when the Code Red virus was dominating servers.
    Reply