Monthly Archives: April 2012
So many people boast and brag on how invincible mac computers are and how they never receive any viruses. Well, this is not true and I stumbled upon a recent virus that has been infecting macs for a long time now and apple has just recently released a fix. Of course they will not tell you about this but it just appears as an update patch.
The virus is known as the Flashback Virus and it has currently infected more than 600,000 users. So how did this virus come about? Well, Apple as you know likes to keep all of their products in a closed environment to provide stable and reliable products. This means they rely as little as they can on outside vendors to provide for them. Because of this Apple has developed their own Java SDK and has not updated it in the longest. Most PCs usually run on Sun Java and receive updates constantly. I know because it annoys me every time I turn on my windows 7 laptop there is a Java update. So what we have here is a scenario where Apple’s closed eco systems has failed.
The virus itself has been out since September of 2011 and this entire time Apple has been silent and has not told any of the users. The following has been quoted from Larry Dignan at CNET:
Apple doesn’t allow Oracle to patch Java. The latest round of malware could have been avoided with faster patching. Since Apple likes to control its patching it is often behind. The window of exposure on the Mac platform is longer. The easy fix here is to let Oracle do the patching.
Apple has a rudimentary antivirus update utility that’s updated with signatures only when there’s a big enough threat. Apple knew about Flashback, which has been pointed out by security researchers, but didn’t ship an update.
Apple users have no idea if they are infected and don’t know how to search. Why would they know? Apple has told them there are no viruses on the Mac. This false sense of security is the primary reason Apple needs to start talking. Apple users are smug about security.
Anti-virus vendors can’t provide protection to the Mac because users don’t think they are needed.
So why has these sort of issues not happen to Macs before. Well, there is a simple explanation to that and it has been said for years. The only reason you see more windows pc viruses and none on macs is because the PC is the more popular machine. Why would a hacker try to hack something that would only affect a small population? What we see happening now is the Macs are becoming increasingly popular so there areas now more incentive to create viruses for it.
So mac users must be wondering how do you detect this virus when it presents itself? Well, this virus will appear as an Adobe Flash Player but it is fake. Once clicked the virus will infiltrate your system.
There is currently no fix for the virus if you are already infected, but to avoid the virus you should look for a Mac update to the Java SDK as shown below:
Let this be fair warning to all those who are seeking to buy a mac to avoid viruses. I expect more viruses and trojans to appear in the mac environment as they begin to get even more popular. Pretty soon Apple will find themselves in the same scenario as windows was a few years ago where they will have to truly put a lot of time and energy into security measures. Hopefully they will do it before their name is tarnished for it.