Flashback: The First Widespread Trojan On The Mac Platform [UPDATED x2]

So Mac users, still think you’re safe? Think again. The Flashback Trojan may already be on your system. So far it’s said to have infected 500,000 Macs and the number is likely growing. To see if you’re one of those 500,000 who are infected, here are some instructions on how to detect and remove the Trojan. I’ll warn you that it requires you to use terminal commands, so it’s not something that’s for novice users.

So let’s say you’re not infected, how do you protect yourself? Here’s a list of things you can do:

  1. Install the latest Java update for Macs. You can get it via Software Update or you can download it here.
  2. Run an anti-virus app. I’ve got an article about a free one from Sophos here.
  3. If you’re really paranoid, consider disabling Java as very few Mac applications need it. The Java Preferences utility is in /Applications/Utilities; uncheck the boxes next to the versions listed in the General tab.

Clearly this is a legitimate threat to the Mac platform, which means the days of making fun of PC users are over…. Although I’ve argued for a while that the party was over years ago.

UPDATE: ARS Technica is noting that a new utility called Flashback Checker that will help novice users check to see if they have this trojan. It won’t help you to get rid of it, but it is a start.

UPDATE #2: Better late than never I suppose. Apple has posted a document on Flashback and they are apparently developing software to detect and remove Flashback.

One Response to “Flashback: The First Widespread Trojan On The Mac Platform [UPDATED x2]”

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