Virus makes Mac Susceptible to Hackers
For quite some time Apple and its many fans thought the Macintosh computer is impervious to malware attacks – from widespread viruses to silent but deadly Trojans. But a recent virus attack specifically directed at Macs has spread surreptitiously this week, infecting as many as half a million machines all over the world, from the U.S. to Australia. The Trojan, known as Fakeflash or Flashback, finds its way into computers through one of two ways. It either downloads itself through a Java software error or assumes the look of an Adobe Flash prompt asking the user to install the program. Kapersky Labs has started further investigation into the infection, and so far have located 620,000 compromised computers, located in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
According to the online security experts who have discovered the virus, half of these infected Macs are in the U.S. And worse, this latest attack on the Mac is the “largest and most sophisticated” to date. The previous year, Apple had had to deal with a computer virus – known as the Mac Defender – that utilized strategies similar to viruses and Trojans found in Windows PCs. The Mac Defender took a few weeks for Apple to fix. But this latest attack through the Fakeflash Trojan is more widespread and advanced, and as Apple gains a bigger share of the market, security experts are warning on the increased frequency of these attacks in future periods.
While security firms are disappointed with Apple’s sluggish reaction to the issue, the company is currently taking active and immediate steps at vanquishing the virus, issuing security patches this week for Fakeflash. The company is asking Macintosh users to make software update runs immediately, if possible. There are also instructions available online for manually removing the virus, as well as tools designed to carry out Mac infection checks.[via]