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Apple Releases Update to Take Care of Flashback Malware

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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