Flashback Trojan Infected Over 600,000 Mac-OS Users, Apple Pushes Out Fix Again

Flashback Trojan Infected Over 600,000 Mac-OS Users, Apple Pushes Out Fix Again 

Russian anti-virus vendor Dr. Web spotted a Trojan affecting nearly 600,000 Macs around the world. The near immune image of the Mac OS X has simply crumbled. So much for Macs being relatively safe against malware attacks. That idea took a punch to the stomach this week when the news broke about the Flashback trojan affecting more than half a million Macs worldwide. Flashback is essentially the malware equivalent of a smash-and-grab thief. Exploiting a Java vulnerability, the code installs and runs when the user visits a compromised or malicious website, intercepting private data, like passwords, and sending it back out over the internet. According to Doctor Web, sources claim that “links to more than four million compromised web-pages could be found on a Google SERP [search results] at the end of March. In addition, some posts on Apple user forums described cases of infection by [the latest variant] BackDoor.Flashback.39 when visiting dlink.com.” The trojan, Backdoor.Flashback.39, can infect computers via an infected web page. The vulnerability itself lies in Java, a product which is not Apple’s
About 57% of infected machines were in the US, 20% in Canada, 13% in UK and 6% in Australia. Apple has already issued patches that curb the vulnerability, but it does not necessarily mean that all users have applied the security patch on their Macs. Even Mozilla has block listed all the older and vulnerable Java plug-in from Firefox. Users are recommended to install the recent Apple Java update to close the hole which allows malicious web pages to drop the trojan onto a system and to always check which application is actually asking for your password when requested.

Update: To detect if a system is infected with Flashback, run each of the following commands in the Mac OS X Terminal:-
defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
defaults read /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

If all these commands respond with "The domain/default pair of ... does not exist", then there is no Flashback infection. Otherwise consult the F-Secure advisory for manual removal instructions.

If you’re 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, be sure to hit up Software Update in your System Preferences.


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