Although Apple has offered up a patch that will help safeguard Macs from the Flashback Trojan, dont expect that this malware quickly fade away. New variants have been discovered in the wild, and Apple is reportedly working on a fix that would, the company hopes, put the Flashback Trojan officially on life support. The issue then, of course, would be getting Mac OS X users to actually install the fix and bring the patch to their device.
But until that happens, there is an awful lot to be concerned about with Flashback. Although its only infected 600,000 Macs worldwidea relatively small number in Windows termsits a major concern in the Mac OS X ecosystem. There was a common belief that Apples software had a low incidence of security flaws. That reputation has been exploded forever. The sooner Mac OS X users recognize the threat posed by Flashback, the sooner theyll be able to safeguard themselves in the future.
Read on to find out more about the Flashback Trojan and to learn about the basic security safeguards that every Mac OS X user should know about:
1. You can see if youre infected
Luckily, there is a way for you to determine if your Mac is infected with Flashback. To do so, youll need to switch to the Macintosh Terminal and input some code and wait for information to pop out. If it comes back with a message saying nothing is found, youre probably safe. But if the Terminal spits out some other data, you might be infected.
2. Apple is working on a fix
Apple said in a support forum posting recently that its working on a fix for the Flashback Trojan that might make it quite simple to remove it. There are other methods of removing Flashback, but few quick fixes are available. So those who are less tech-savvy might want to beware. Hopefully, Apples quick fix will launch sooner rather than later.
3. Patches are available
Apple has released two patches now that address the Flashback Trojan. The latest patch came down recently and can be found when accessing Software Update. However, as youll see in a subsequent item in this list, the malware creators are already trying to find ways around the patches and continue to exploit users.
4. Its a Java issue
Its important to keep in mind that Flashback is not something that exploits Mac OS X on its own. Instead, the vulnerability comes by way of Java and has at least been patched by both Adobe and Apple. Still, its clear that Adobe must do more to protect users who might have downloaded its many software packages.