Second Java Update From Apple Removes Flashback Malware
April 16, 2012

Second Java Update From Apple Removes Flashback Malware

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Apple has released another Java update via the Software Update application for Apple computers running Mac OS X 10.6 and later. The newest update includes a tool that will “remove the most common variants of the Flashback malware,” according to this advisory from Apple. To run Software Update, click on the Apple icon on your desktop, and then select “Software Update…” from the menu.

Keep in mind that the update does not apply to Mac OS X 10.5 and earlier, since Apple no longer supports Java updates for these older operating systems. For these systems, it is recommended to disable Java. Apple has released this article for doing this in Safari and has references for disabling in Chrome and Firefox as well. If you need to have Java enabled, please make sure you have an antivirus product installed.

Not only is it important to make sure you have antivirus protection installed, but you also must make sure it is up to date. If you have Norton Antivirus 11 installed, but you let the subscription expire, then you’re at risk. Either pay for the update, or switch one of the free antivirus product we recommend like Sophos Antivirus Mac Home Edition or ClamXav 2. If you do switch antivirus applications, make sure you uninstall the one you’re currently using first. If you are not sure how to do this, check the antivirus product’s web site for removal instructions.

There have also been a couple of tools made available to check for and remove the Flashback trojan from your system by well-known antivirus software firms Symantec and F-Secure.

So are the days of not-running-an-antivirus-because-Macs-don’t-get-viruses over? I believe so. On the Windows PC side of the business, I have seen my share and have performed many clean-ups of viruses from systems that were lacking in protection. As the number of Apple computers continues to increase in the world, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be those nefarious folks out there that will figure out a way to get into your system. Just like with your PC cronies out there, your pristine Apple computer also has financial data, contacts, email addresses and the like that some third-world syndicate would love to get hold of and make a profit from at the very least.


  1. Stacy - April 18, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Tom! As luck would have it, recently my CC company flagged my account due to suspicious activity. A person in Charlotte went on a $700 + shopping spree on my business accounts expense. I’m wondering if I’m a victim of the security breach. Reading further on Google about this, I was alerted of an ever growing trend of hackers who retrieve your info and are actually making a biz out of making duplicate plastic credit cards. They sell our accounts info that mimic our actual credit cards, for a fee that is a few hundred dollars that they in turn use for purchases until our bank suspends our cards. And then they move onto purchasing the next victim’s card. It’s a racket and such sites for purchasing these cards exists on Google. Scary!! I will be looking into the anti- virus. I knew that eventually the days of Mac being virus free would end.

    • tlanden - April 18, 2012 Reply

      Stacy – sorry to hear about that. CC breaches can come in many forms. If you need me to do a security assessment, please let me know.

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