Apple Users, I Told You So

imageI don’t want to come off sounding like that, but too often I talk to Apple users who just flat out refuse to believe that malware could infect their expensive Apple branded computer. Threats for the OS X platform have been rising. This is partly due to the rise in sales and popularity of Apple computers and the change from the PowerPC processing architecture to Intel. Enter Flashback and many users are in panic mode!

Flashback malware is the latest threat that tricks the user into installing it and currently without user interaction. The current versions pretends to be a browser add-on. Once installed it attempts to steal passwords through the web browser and other applications like Skype. It’s been around since September when it pretended to be an Adobe Flash installer, it has also pretended to be a Java installer. Both Sun and Adobe and since patched their products in February, however Apple took two months longer- A dangerous move in the world of security.

The scary part is there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 600,000 infected Apple Computers out there according to Russian antivirus company Dr. Web and confirmed by Kaspersky. Now hopefully your running OS X 10.6.8 or later; Apple has released a patch for Java to prevent the infection of the current variant. Earlier versions of OS X will not get a patch. If you’d like to check whether your Apple is infected please visit Dr. Web’s online tool and follow the instructions. If your luck didn’t pan out and your computer is infected you can find instructions of how to remove it at F-Secure’s website. If your unsure about following these directions, your local Apple store should be able to help-albeit a small fee.

For all Apple user’s I have a few suggestions. Don’t take security for granted this is the largest outbreak of infections on Apple Computers to date, but not the first. Make sure to keep your Apple computer updated via Software Update as well as any applications you have installed by checking their updating tool or checking with the vendor. Secondly, and this is one of the best choices you can make, invest in a solid security software program for the Mac. I suggest Eset Cybersecurity for Mac which I have found to be the best choice. Alternatively, Norton also makes a great product with Norton Internet Security for Mac. Stay safe online and off by being proactive.

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