While many have dogmatically adhered to the idea that Macs are impervious to malware
, some experts have been warning that it was only a matter of time before the Apple
systems were hit with significant bugs.
Findings like the one from Doctor Web
late yesterday confirm that indeed, the malware threat looms large for Mac users. According to Doctor Web, a Russian antivirus vendor, 600,000 Macs were part of the BackDoor.Flashback.39 botnet. (Originally, the company reported the number at 550,000, but a Twitter post
later upped it to over 600,000.)
The Flashback Trojan isn’t especially new; variants have been around since at least September 2011
, but like all good malware, it’s been evolving. Apple finally patched
the Java exploit that was affecting machines running Mac OS X v10.6.8, Mac OS X Server v10.6.8, OS X Lion v10.7.3, and Lion Server v10.7.3.
Security firm F-Secure posted a way
to identify and remove the virus, and had this to say:
On execution, the malware will prompt the unsuspecting user for the administrator password. Whether or not the user inputs the administrator password, the malware will attempt to infect the system, though entering the password will affect how the infection is done.
According to Doctor Web, 56.6% of the infested hosts are in the U.S., 19.8% are in Canada, the UK has 12.8%, and Australia has 6.1%. The company recommends downloading and installing this security update