The Flashback malware for OS X has been one of the largest attacks to date on OS X, which at its peak on April 6 affected an estimated 600,000 systems running OS X. While developments regarding this malware's mode of infection and the scope of the problem have been concerning, efforts by those in the Mac community are underway to tackle and remove the problem. So far, these efforts have cut the number of infected systems in half in just under five days.
The Flashback Trojan went viral last week, infecting an estimated 1 percent of OS X computers worldwide. While the infection rate has subsided since then, that doesn't mean Mac owners should return to complacency.
It doesn't mean that there's cause for panic, either. Here are some common sense, effective tips for safeguarding your Mac against more malware.
Get a security suite: You can stop rolling your eyes now. Concerns about security suite performance generally come from the way that most security programs used to tie Windows into knots. While the Windows suites have gotten significantly better, their … Read more
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you've probably heard about Flashback, a piece of malware targeting users of Apple's Mac OS X that's now estimated to be quietly running on more than 600,000 machines around the world.
That number, which came from Russian antivirus company Dr. Web earlier this week, was confirmed today by security firm Kaspersky. More than 98 percent of the affected computers were running Mac OS X, the firm said.
That's certainly a big number, but how does it stack up to past threats?
"It'… Read more
Apple still appears to be fighting the Flashback malware that was recently found to have infected more than a half-million Mac computers.
A second Java update has been released for Mac users, according to Mac security blog Intego.
No details are available as to why this latest update was released. Intego speculates that perhaps there was a small glitch in the first update. This latest update also seems geared just for the Lion version of Mac OS X, while the initial patch was designed for both Snow Leopard and Lion.
Some confusion also exists over the name, Intego noted. The … Read more
German security suite maker Avira has bought SocialShield, which makes software that enables parents to monitor the social-network activity of their children.
Avira said in a prepared statement last week that it intends to incorporate SocialShield into the free version of its security suite, which has around 100 million people actively using it. SocialShield scans numerous social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, and FormSpring, analyzes the activity it has access to, and alerts parents when red flags arise. The company did not reveal a timeline for integration.
Sometimes it may seem safer to go back to the days of the Pony Express rather than deal with the multitude of online threats, but there are some simple steps you can take to minimize the risks you face.
First, get a security suite. CNET gave Avast Free Antivirus 7 (download) and Bitdefender Total Security 2012 (download) Editors' Choice Awards recently, although there are about a dozen good suites, free and paid, out there. Go with one that gets good ratings and that you trust, and make sure that you let it update and scan regularly.
Second, I strongly recommend … Read more
Following the recent Flashback malware developments for OS X where unpatched vulnerabilities in the latest Java runtime for OS X were being exploited, Apple has issued an update that brings Java up-to-date and patches these vulnerabilities.
The patch is available via Software Update for systems that have Java installed, but can also be downloaded from the following Apple support Web pages. The update is available only for OS X 10.6 and 10.7, since Apple has stopped supporting prior versions of OS X.Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 7 Java for OS X Lion 2012-001
These … Read more
The Flashback Trojan horse is a fairly recent malware package developed for OS X that attempts to steal personal information by injecting code into Web browsers and other applications on an OS X system. When these programs are then launched, the malicious code attempts to contact remote servers and upload screenshots and other personal information to them.
This malware was initially found in September 2011 while being distributed as a fake Flash Player installer (hence its "Flashback" name). In in the past few months it has evolved to exploiting Java vulnerabilities to target Mac systems.
While the … Read more
While the name Ad-Aware remains the same as it has for the past 13 years, everything from the user interface to the code powering Ad-Aware 10 is entirely new.
Ad-Aware Free Antivirus Plus (download), Ad-Aware Personal Security (download), and Ad-Aware Pro Security (download) are substantially new programs. More so than any recent version of Ad-Aware, the suite is usable, lightweight, and worthy of your attention.
That may sound preposterous given how bloated and unwieldy the suite had become, but this is a new animal entirely. Ad-Aware's parent company, Lavasoft, was sold in January 2011 by its Swedish founders to … Read more
Recently new Trojan variants for OS X were found that take advantage of old and patched vulnerabilities to install and execute information-stealing code on affected systems. One of the newest ones uses Office documents as an installation vector and may be called OS X/Lamadai.A or OSX/Olyx depending on the malware scanner being used.
When this malware was found, security company AlienVault issued an initial analysis of the threat, describing it as a Command and Control (C&C) based Trojan that originates from China and is being used to target non-government organizations based in Tibet.
In light … Read more