AMITIAE - Thursday 5 April 2012

OS X/Flashback.I and Disinfection Help from F-Secure

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By Graham K. Rogers


Unfortunately, the security of Mac users with OS X is becoming less and less. With a hole in the Java -- now patched by Apple -- a Trojan Horse was installed on a large number of machines (comparatively large for Macs anyway) and was then able to modify targeted webpages displayed in the web browser. Help is at hand

A link from Jim Dalrymple's, The Loop, will open a page on the F-Secure site with instructions to check for and (if found) remove the recent OS X/Flashback.I Trojan horse malware that is now reported to have affected more than 600,000 users worldwide according to Thomas Ricker on The Verge.

Ricker's article has a world map showing the spread of the malware, which if it is on a computer, "connects to a remote site to download its payload; on successful infection, the malware modifies targeted webpages displayed in the web browser" (F-Secure).

Apple released a Java update earlier via Software Update, to deal with the insecurity. There are versions for both OS X Lion and the earlier OS X, Snow Leopard. These are also available via the Apple Downloads pages.

The process for checking as outlined on the F-Secure page requires use of the Terminal, however, the commands can be copied and pasted from the web page into the Terminal screen. This would be best done in the Admin account as, if there is a problem, the SUDO command will be used.

Terminal -- My computer is uninfected

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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