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Security OS X Apple News

New Version of Flashback Trojan Targets Mac Users 160

wiredmikey writes with this extract from Security Week: "On Friday, researchers from security firm Intego reported that a new variant of Flashback is targeting passwords and as a byproduct of infection, Flashback is crashing several notable applications. Flashback was first discovered by Intego in September of 2011. It targets Java vulnerabilities on OS X, two of them to be exact, in order to infect the system. Should Flashback find that Java is fully updated, it will attempt to social engineer the malware's installation, by presenting an applet with a self-signed certificate. The certificate claims to be signed by Apple, but is clearly marked as invalid. However, users are known to skip such warnings, thus allowing the malware to be installed. ... The newest variant will render programs such as Safari and Skype unstable, causing them to crash. Interestingly enough, normally these are stable programs, so if they start suddenly crashing might be a sign of larger issues."
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New Version of Flashback Trojan Targets Mac Users

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  • Re:But I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Saturday February 25, 2012 @11:30PM (#39161887)

    I know you're trolling, but no he didn't.

    He did say they were much less likely, but it has never been the case that Macs were immune. There has been a history of malware on the Mac since the pre-OS X days.

    Far fewer viruses in the OS X era though (relative to earlier Mac OSes), but several trojans - usually in pirate software (like the infamous "pretends to be MS Office installer but really destroys your home folder" one).

    Vigilance is necessary on all platforms, especially against trojans, since they tend to exploit the common weak link in computer security - the user of the system.

  • Re:But I thought... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @11:58PM (#39161993)


    You're obviously on a computing device connected to the Internet so why not take a few seconds to look up a word if you don't know how it's spelled?

  • Re:More malware (Score:1, Informative)

    by I(rispee_I(reme ( 310391 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:04AM (#39162005) Journal

    Who says Mac users claim they don't get malware? ...
    It comes up every time, so the only people who seem to perpetuate the myth of the technology-literate Apple user who claims immunity from security threats are the ones seeking to mock the Reality Distortion Field and the users of Apple software as clueless.

    Here [] is an Apple commercial that claims that Macintoshes don't get viruses. It is part of a series of commercials that make it seem as though there is some special feature of Apple hardware that makes it less susceptible to viruses.

    I would say that the "people perpetuating the myth of the technology-literate Apple user who claims immunity from security threats" are... Apple.

  • Re:More malware (Score:1, Informative)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:10AM (#39162021)

    Here is an Apple commercial that claims that Macintoshes don't get viruses.

    Flashback Trojan. Not a virus.

  • Re:But I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MikeMo ( 521697 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:12AM (#39162027)
    Regardless, this is neither a virus nor a worm. It's a trojan. You're supposed to know the difference.
  • Re:But I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:49AM (#39162139) Homepage

    I don't think they ever said "couldn't" or "can't", but instead said, "don't."

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @12:55AM (#39162175)

    I'm sorry, with all due respect, that is bullshit.

    The only reason why Macs are perceived as more secure is because they have less market share, and therefore less interest to those who make the malware. Period.

    So if I go out in the middle of nowhere in the desert and build a house, it is kind of stupid for me to claim that my house is safer just because nobody tried to rob it in 15 years.

    Sony was thought of as impenetrable with their PS3. Pissed the wrong people off when they removed the OtherOS support... and lo and behooooold.... security was destroyed. I can download over 200 PS3 games right now with all sorts of firmware and methods to "pwn" the PS3. I hate Sony so I have no interest in giving them money for that POS.

    It's about interest and if the "right" people have an interest in compromising security on an operating system, it gets compromised.

    You can sit there all you want and "think" FreeBSD, and specifically Apple's variant, is more secure by design... but just wait and see what happens. Success will be Apple's greatest enemy on that front.

    No operating system is without flaws and no operating system can withstand a sustained attack from millions of people looking for one. All you can do is best practices, pay attention to critical updates, and actually pay attention to logs. Basically don't treat security as something passive that requires no work on your part.

    P.S - Look up the PwnToOwn contest and try telling us again that Macs are safer than Windows. Based on what??

  • Re:But I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @01:39AM (#39162291)

    On Windows there is a user called System and most programs need to be installed/run as the system user which gives a virus Trojan unlimited access to the full system.

    Thats just plain not accurate on several levels.

    For starters, I have never in my life seen an installer that needed to run as System. Administrator, yes, but thats not the same thing. For another, you need to install system programs on Mac as root, which IS the same thing as "the system user", as it has the highest rights on the system.

    Third, most programs do NOT need to be installed as an admin-- you can install them to the local user's folder. I assume you could pull this off in a Mac, but Im not sure.

    If you have a knowledgeable user on a Mac he can run the system securely with out a need for a virus scanner. Unfortunately on Windows you do not have this option.

    Baloney. If youre downloading random executables from the net, I suppose you might want that scanner; but if your browser plugins are out of date it wont matter terribly much what OS you use or whether you have a scanner, as each year's Pwn2Own proves (with Mac getting hacked first each time).

  • Re:But I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:11AM (#39164003)

    Not only that, but this isn't a virus. It's a trojan, and there is no secure system free of trojans unless no human ever interacts with it. As far as I know, as of right now, there are no viruses in the wild for a Mac, as opposed to the 100K plus that are there for a PC. In that respect, the chances that a user will be duped into installing a bit of code with this specific trojan are pretty limited.

    Why is it that when we hear about the 1 or 2 trojans for Mac that come out each year, the anti-apple folks come out of the woodwork claiming they are all 'viruses' and that Mac users think they are immune, etc. Of course slashdot extremists will pander to this and mark such posts insightful. The very fact that we're talking about a trojan on a Mac and that it is 'news' speaks volumes. The vector of infection for a trojan has nothing to do with the OS, and unless you need to turn in your geek card, everyone here damn well knows that.

    Is a Mac immune? Of course not. No user system is immune from Trojans. Are you less likely to be infected on a Mac? Certainly, and claims to the contrary are patently false. Will that change in one year? Ten years? Who knows. That doesn't change the fact that the gist of the I"m a Mac commercials is still valid, even today.

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