It's the end of a virus-free era for Macs everywhere. Earlier this month, it was reported that a trojan called Flashback infected over 600,000 machines by exploiting a security hole in Java. Once the Mac is infected, the virus monitors the user's network traffic to steal personal information like user names and passwords.
Flashback has been around since September 2011, but this latest strain has caused the worst outbreak yet for Macs.
Alongside virus companies, Apple is fighting back to help users get rid of the trojan and patch up the security hole in question. Apple has released the third update to its Java component, which supersedes all previous versions and delivers Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_31.
This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. 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 release of these updates and other removal tools from virus companies has caused the number of infected machines to go down substantially. Symantec reports that as of April 11th, only 270,000 machines remain infected.
F-Secure also has a free Flashback removal tool that you can download here.
Article by Hazel Chua
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